Our Last Days in Barcelona by Chanel Cleeton
Paperback, 320 pages
Publication: May 24th 2022 by Berkley Books
Genre: Historical Fiction, Spain, Romance
Taken from Goodreads: When Isabel Perez travels to Barcelona to save her sister Beatriz, she discovers a shocking family secret in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton’s new novel.
Barcelona, 1964. Exiled from Cuba after the revolution, Isabel Perez has learned to guard her heart and protect her family at all costs. After Isabel’s sister Beatriz disappears in Barcelona, Isabel goes to Spain in search of her. Joining forces with an unlikely ally thrusts Isabel into her sister’s dangerous world of espionage, but it’s an unearthed piece of family history that transforms Isabel’s life.
Barcelona, 1936. Alicia Perez arrives in Barcelona after a difficult voyage from Cuba, her marriage in jeopardy and her young daughter Isabel in tow. Violence brews in Spain, the country on the brink of civil war, the rise of fascism threatening the world. When Cubans journey to Spain to join the International Brigades, Alicia’s past comes back to haunt her as she is unexpectedly reunited with the man who once held her heart.
Alicia and Isabel’s lives intertwine, and the past and present collide, as a mother and daughter are forced to choose between their family’s expectations and following their hearts.
My Thoughts: I am going to start with the end, Chanel Cleeton wrote the perfect ending for Isabel’s story. The story came a full circle and I love it! There is no doubt of a mother’s love and the Perez family bond. I am hopeful that there is more of there story to tell but if this is the last book featuring the Perez family, I will be happy with that.
Isabel went to Barcelona to find her sister but instead found herself. She found a life that she craved and that she deserved. The support of Beatrix and Diego gave her the courage to work for her dreams. The dreams that Isabel have put her at odds with what her parents expected of her, it is hard for her to go against their wishes. Isabel deserves all the happiness that she can get and I was excited to see her find her own way.
Alicia, Isabel’s mother, is the other part of the story. There is a part of her life that she did not share with her children, she denies it when she is asked about it. Beatrix stumbles on part of that life and questions her own life. Alicia’s timeline told of her time away from her husband with young Isabel during the start of their civil war in Spain.
I love the Perez family. Their family is one of strength, love, and support. The Perez daughters have each other and can take on the world.
**Thank you Daniela Riedlová at Berkley for a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Meet Chaneel Cleeton (Taken from her website): Chanel Cleeton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Next Year in Havana, When We Left Cuba, The Last Train to Key West, and The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba.
Originally from Florida, Chanel grew up on stories of her family's exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master's degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law.