Pub Week REVIEW: Hotel Cuba

Pearl and Frieda are two young girls fleeing now Russian-occupied Poland. Their family sends them away to America to give them a chance at a better life. Unfortunately, they are rejected from Ellis Island but learn that if they spend a year in Cuba they will have a better shot at getting to America to join their older sister. The story details their fish out of water life in Cuba adjusting to new climate, culture, language etc and their plots to make it to America. We see how they are sponsored and supported by other Jews as well as how they work their hardest to get ahead.

I have a particular weakness for books set in Cuba, not sure why, but I find Cuba so intriguing. This is definitely the most unique Cuban story I’ve ever read, I loved learning a different angle on the Jewish diaspora. There are so many stories that take you straight from Europe to America but the stopover in Cuba was really interesting. I loved Pearl’s resilience and desire to build the best life for her family. Her journey was so unique and her entrepreneurism was so unusual for the time. I loved reading the epilogue and realizing the story was based on the author’s grandparents. Before that, I wasn’t sure I understood Pearl’s final choices but hearing the truth of it made it resonate so clearly. My only criticism is that I would have loved to hear how the family back in Poland ended up, but that’s minor, this is great historical fiction.

Thanks to Harper Perennial for the gifted copy. All opinions above are my own.

I’ve got a bit of a Cuba reading obsession as you can see. Would you travel to Cuba if you could?

Published by openmypages

I am the Vice President of Clinical Affairs for a medical device company where my job is to promote the utility of the device to doctors. I have science and business degrees and have editorial experience in medical communications. In college, I served as an Editorial Assistant for a healthcare communications company and have served on two editorial boards for peer-reviewed journals. In my free time, I always have a book in my hand... or two or three! On average, I read 20 books a month. I have looked to combine two of my skill sets to review on Goodreads and promote books on Instagram that I love to other readers. I'm open to partnering with publishers as an influencer for book tours, giveaways etc.

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