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From the bestselling author of THE GIRLS WITH NO NAMES, a new historical novel based on the dazzling story of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated Hispanic actresses and her daughter’s search for closure. “Told in a series of letters, FIND ME IN HAVANA is a beautiful and heart-wrenching story of mothers and daughters, and the American Dream that comes with the biggest price o From the bestselling author of THE GIRLS WITH NO NAMES, a new historical novel based on the dazzling story of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated Hispanic actresses and her daughter’s search for closure. “Told in a series of letters, FIND ME IN HAVANA is a beautiful and heart-wrenching story of mothers and daughters, and the American Dream that comes with the biggest price of all. I couldn’t put it down!” — Heather Webb, USA Today bestselling author Cuba, 1936: When Estelita Rodriguez sings in a hazy Havana nightclub for the very first time, she is nine years old. From then on, that spotlight of adoration—from Havana to New York’s Copacabana and then Hollywood—becomes the one true accomplishment no one can take from her. Not the 1933 Cuban Revolution that drove her family into poverty. Not the revolving door of husbands or the fickle world of film. Thirty years later, her young adult daughter, Nina, is blindsided by her mother’s mysterious death. Seeking answers, the grieving Nina navigates the troubling, opulent memories of their life together and discovers how much Estelita sacrificed to live the American dream on her own terms. Based on true events and exclusive interviews with Nina Lopez, Estelita’s daughter, Find Me in Havana weaves two unforgettable voices into one extraordinary story that explores the unbreakable bond between mother and child, and the ever-changing landscape of self-discovery.


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From the bestselling author of THE GIRLS WITH NO NAMES, a new historical novel based on the dazzling story of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated Hispanic actresses and her daughter’s search for closure. “Told in a series of letters, FIND ME IN HAVANA is a beautiful and heart-wrenching story of mothers and daughters, and the American Dream that comes with the biggest price o From the bestselling author of THE GIRLS WITH NO NAMES, a new historical novel based on the dazzling story of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated Hispanic actresses and her daughter’s search for closure. “Told in a series of letters, FIND ME IN HAVANA is a beautiful and heart-wrenching story of mothers and daughters, and the American Dream that comes with the biggest price of all. I couldn’t put it down!” — Heather Webb, USA Today bestselling author Cuba, 1936: When Estelita Rodriguez sings in a hazy Havana nightclub for the very first time, she is nine years old. From then on, that spotlight of adoration—from Havana to New York’s Copacabana and then Hollywood—becomes the one true accomplishment no one can take from her. Not the 1933 Cuban Revolution that drove her family into poverty. Not the revolving door of husbands or the fickle world of film. Thirty years later, her young adult daughter, Nina, is blindsided by her mother’s mysterious death. Seeking answers, the grieving Nina navigates the troubling, opulent memories of their life together and discovers how much Estelita sacrificed to live the American dream on her own terms. Based on true events and exclusive interviews with Nina Lopez, Estelita’s daughter, Find Me in Havana weaves two unforgettable voices into one extraordinary story that explores the unbreakable bond between mother and child, and the ever-changing landscape of self-discovery.

30 review for Find Me in Havana

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    Find Me in Havana by Serena Burdick is a historical fiction book about a Cuban woman and her daughter. Find Me in Havana is based on the true story of Estelita Rodriguez. Find Me in Havana is told from Estelita and Nina’s perspectives. This really helped the story by allowing the reader to understand both character’s feelings. I enjoyed reading about Estelita’s and Nina’s relationship. There were many times where Nina thought her mom was putting her career or other people before her, but from Est Find Me in Havana by Serena Burdick is a historical fiction book about a Cuban woman and her daughter. Find Me in Havana is based on the true story of Estelita Rodriguez. Find Me in Havana is told from Estelita and Nina’s perspectives. This really helped the story by allowing the reader to understand both character’s feelings. I enjoyed reading about Estelita’s and Nina’s relationship. There were many times where Nina thought her mom was putting her career or other people before her, but from Estelita’s perspective the reader sees that is not the case. Estelita’s mother and Nina’s grandmother was an important character which showed another mother daughter relationship. Find Me in Havana is full of emotion and history. Cuban history isn’t talked about frequently, so that was a nice addition to this story. Find Me in Havana includes rape and abuse. Estelita has multiple husbands and all of them do not treat Nina well. Nina always felt like her mother chose her husbands over her. Thank you NetGalley, Edelweiss, Harper Audio, Harlequin Audio, Harper Collins and Park Row for Find Me in Havana. Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

    The premise and cover are kind of giving me Evelyn Hugo vibes.

  3. 5 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    Before reading Find Me in Havana, I had never heard of Cuban-born singer and actress Estelita Rodriguez. Author Serena Burdick had a chance meeting with Nina Rodriquez and the story of her mother Estelita intrigued her. Years later she revisited the incredible and mostly unknown story and wrote this fictionalized version. The book is told in two voices. Mother Estelita writing to daughter Nina and Nina writing to her mother, who we know from the start, died in 1966 at age 37. Estelita’s singing Before reading Find Me in Havana, I had never heard of Cuban-born singer and actress Estelita Rodriguez. Author Serena Burdick had a chance meeting with Nina Rodriquez and the story of her mother Estelita intrigued her. Years later she revisited the incredible and mostly unknown story and wrote this fictionalized version. The book is told in two voices. Mother Estelita writing to daughter Nina and Nina writing to her mother, who we know from the start, died in 1966 at age 37. Estelita’s singing talent as a child in Cuba led her to the U.S. and a career in the movies. By eighteen, she became a mother and chose to leave her husband who wanted her to give up her career. Estelita’s life was filled with Hollywood glitz and a continued stream of men. Nina was sent away to school and had a difficult childhood. The book tells of incredible incidents that took place in Mexico and back in Cuba where they find themselves in the middle of the Cuban Revolution. This is a touching story which we know ends up in tragedy. But it was interesting to learn about Estelita Rodriguez. I wish the book told a bit more of Estelita’s experiences in making Rio Bravo and the other movies she was in but this is essentially a book about a daughter coming to terms with her mother’s life and her own. And a tale of a talented woman who was dominated by the men in her life. A worthwhile read. Many thanks to Edelweiss, Park Row / HarperCollins and the author for the opportunity to read Find Me in Havana in advance of its January 12, 2020 publication. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Thanks to NetGalley for a arc copy for a honest review. Find Me in Havana is a 5 star read. I hadn’t heard of Estelita Rodriguez a Cuban actress. best known for her roles in many Westerns with Roy Rogers for Republic Pictures, as well as her role in Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo. In January 1953, Rodriguez married actor Grant Withers; they divorced in 1955. ... On March 12, 1966, Estelita Pego was found dead on the kitchen floor of her home, at age 37. The cause of death was complications of influenza Thanks to NetGalley for a arc copy for a honest review. Find Me in Havana is a 5 star read. I hadn’t heard of Estelita Rodriguez a Cuban actress. best known for her roles in many Westerns with Roy Rogers for Republic Pictures, as well as her role in Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo. In January 1953, Rodriguez married actor Grant Withers; they divorced in 1955. ... On March 12, 1966, Estelita Pego was found dead on the kitchen floor of her home, at age 37. The cause of death was complications of influenza. She is interred at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, CA. Her daughter Anna talk’s about the life of her mom through letters and what Nina has gone through herself. Happy Reading Lisa

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tammy(PeaceLoveBooks)

    Find Me in Havana is a fabulous story! It was a breath of fresh air reading about a different setting and time period than the normal historical fiction. I will be looking up her previous books!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Find Me in Havana by Serena Burdick is an excellent historical fiction (that is written about true characters and events) kept me fascinated and enthralled from beginning to end. This novel tells the story of Estelita Rodriguez and her daughter, Nina Lopez (Rodriguez) in alternating chapters and in letter form. Each chapter is written as a journal entry/letter to the other woman. It was wonderful to be able to enter the life and minds of both women and see each event as it unfolded within their Find Me in Havana by Serena Burdick is an excellent historical fiction (that is written about true characters and events) kept me fascinated and enthralled from beginning to end. This novel tells the story of Estelita Rodriguez and her daughter, Nina Lopez (Rodriguez) in alternating chapters and in letter form. Each chapter is written as a journal entry/letter to the other woman. It was wonderful to be able to enter the life and minds of both women and see each event as it unfolded within their own viewpoints and feelings. Being able to see each half, and fusing those visions together, gives the reader the ultimate image of a complicated, volatile, and passionate mother-daughter relationship. Each woman has their own hopes, dreams, insecurities, hang-ups, and fears. I have to admit that before I had read this book, I had not heard of Estelita Rodriguez ( I know, I know), and that the author was able to write and create such vivid picture of her tragic and complicated life to make me feel as if I knew her personally, blew me away. The stories of both Nina and Estelita, the flawed beings that they are, is packed, eventful, and stunning. I cannot imagine going through a fraction of the things either went through. From their times in Cuba, LA, and the eras that both lived (a time that was definitely not kind for women and especially women of color), they experienced far more then any person should. This book felt so personal, so raw. It was heartbreaking to see all of the horrible events occurring that were beyond either woman's control, yet frustrating when bad choices were sometimes made. (Hindsight is a wonderful thing, of course.) The push-pull relationship of a mother-daughter was heartwarming, yet tragic and hard to read. To see that each woman was desperate for love, acceptance, affection, forgiveness, and to feel safe was so real and should seem so attainable, yet for this story was very difficult to obtain. For Estelita, I am not sure if she ended up ever experiencing that feeling before her untimely death. At least for Nina, especially all the tragedies and horrific experiences she encountered, I was pleased to see that she found a happiness and stillness in her adult life. The adoration she had for her mother, despite her faults, and her quest for acknowledgement, attention, and love from her mother was so difficult to read due to the miscommunications and slights that she felt she was given in return. I loved the prose, the literary descriptions of being in Cuba, experiencing the Old Hollywood scenes, and the dusty plains of the Mexican towns were all unbelievably amazing and depicted to the point as if I was literally there. I was stunned by all the imagery, the passion, and the story. Also, the author's ability to interweave real people and events with a fictional storyline was nothing short of amazing. This book was truly a wonder and it is one that I will truly remember for many years. An excellent book that I highly recommend. 5/5 stars Thank you EW and Park Row for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR, Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alma

    This poignant story is based on the life of Cuban singer and actress Estelita Rodriguez, as told to the author by her daughter. During a time when women were supposed to bow to their husband’s wishes, both Mamá and Estelita were cut from a different cloth. Their strength comes out through the pages to inspire today’s women. Read more about this memorable book on my blog "You decide: Should I read it or not?": https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.... This poignant story is based on the life of Cuban singer and actress Estelita Rodriguez, as told to the author by her daughter. During a time when women were supposed to bow to their husband’s wishes, both Mamá and Estelita were cut from a different cloth. Their strength comes out through the pages to inspire today’s women. Read more about this memorable book on my blog "You decide: Should I read it or not?": https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress....

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jodie (That Happy Reader)

    The story unfolds in a series of letters between Estelita Rodriguez and her daughter Nina Lopez. The story begins in Cuba in 1936 with Estelita’s family struggling following the Cuban Revolution. Growing up with a group of sisters who loved to sing and dance, Estelita is discovered in a nightclub in Havana as a young girl and arrives in the U.S. at age 15 to sing at the Copacabana in New York City. Nina is the result of a marriage to actor Chu Chu Martinez, the first of her four husbands. As was The story unfolds in a series of letters between Estelita Rodriguez and her daughter Nina Lopez. The story begins in Cuba in 1936 with Estelita’s family struggling following the Cuban Revolution. Growing up with a group of sisters who loved to sing and dance, Estelita is discovered in a nightclub in Havana as a young girl and arrives in the U.S. at age 15 to sing at the Copacabana in New York City. Nina is the result of a marriage to actor Chu Chu Martinez, the first of her four husbands. As was the often the case during this time in history, Chu Chu forbade his wife from performing. Estelita leaves the marriage and is discovered in Hollywood, beginning an acting career and appearing in movies such as Rio Bravo with John Wayne and Dean Martin. Nina’s relationship to her mother remained strong, despite many horrific events that fell upon the two. Upon her mother’s mysterious death in 1966, Nina finds her self on a journey, reflecting on memories of her mother’s life and all that she endured to find her American dream. The story would not be complete without the mention of the one constant in both Estelita and Nina’s lives- Estelita’s mother. A strong woman herself, she encourages Estelita to follow her dreams to Hollywood and becomes a stabilizing figure for Nina. The book really shines to me in the depth and sacrifice of all three women to create a good life independent of having to be someone’s wife. Therefore, I find it interesting that Estelita married so often in her 37 years. I found this book to be a very interesting read. It provides the reader with an immersion into the Cuban Revolution. It also is demonstrates the way women have historically experienced injustice and atrocities as they strived to be something more. As a warning to more sensitive readers, this book has elements of physical abuse, misogyny and rape. It is a difficult read at times because of this, but an important one to completely understand the story. I listened to the audiobook version of the book which was narrated by Marisol Ramirez and Frankine Corzo. Their performances were very good, and provided a sense of realism to the story. Their voices were articulate and expressive. I listened to the book at my usual 1.25x which provided a comfortable experience. I would not hesitate to recommend the audiobook version of the book to those that enjoy this format. Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Audio for the ARC of this audiobook in exchange for the honest review provided here.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lissa

    4.5 stars. I received a digital galley of this book yesterday. I thought it looked interesting so started reading it immediately...and finished it less than 24 hours later. This book is outstanding. It is a fictional retelling of the life of Estelita Rodriguez, a Cuban singer who eventually moved to Los Angeles to make her way in the movies. I am not an expert on old movies and I had never heard of Estelita but I now plan on researching her fascinating life which included an exciting chase throu 4.5 stars. I received a digital galley of this book yesterday. I thought it looked interesting so started reading it immediately...and finished it less than 24 hours later. This book is outstanding. It is a fictional retelling of the life of Estelita Rodriguez, a Cuban singer who eventually moved to Los Angeles to make her way in the movies. I am not an expert on old movies and I had never heard of Estelita but I now plan on researching her fascinating life which included an exciting chase through Mexico and a harrowing stay in Cuba during the revolution. The book is told through alternating letters between Estelita and her daughter, Nina, as they navigate truly heartbreaking incidents. The epilogue is interesting, too, as it explains the author's relationship with Nina. I highly recommend this book, although be aware of trigger warnings before beginning as violence against women is very prevalent in this novel. I received a digital ARC of this copy through the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    EsquiredToRead

    3.5 stars. The writing was pretty phenomenal, I really enjoyed the historical aspect, and I had a hard time tearing myself away from this book. This book is correctly compared to "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo." Just add the Cuban revolution and multi-generational mother/daughter relationships in there. I love historical fiction and enjoy multi-generational family sagas a lot so I really liked the lead up to the climax/the end. The book was tense throughout and I think the author did a fantas 3.5 stars. The writing was pretty phenomenal, I really enjoyed the historical aspect, and I had a hard time tearing myself away from this book. This book is correctly compared to "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo." Just add the Cuban revolution and multi-generational mother/daughter relationships in there. I love historical fiction and enjoy multi-generational family sagas a lot so I really liked the lead up to the climax/the end. The book was tense throughout and I think the author did a fantastic job of building tension throughout scenes. She introduced characters well and build them up pretty well. I had a bit of a hard time swallowing the believability of the the mother's romantic partners but they helped move the plot along so I found that relatively easy to overlook. I have to round my rating down though because of the end. The prologue pulled me in but by the time we got to the resolution I was really disappointed in the way the character's stories ended. Some of it was sweet but I mostly just disappointed. * I want to add that the audiobook is also VERY well produced and worth a listen! (view spoiler)[ I don't like that Nina's entire ending revolved around a man/finding love. I really didn't like that. Although I did think it was sweet that she found Julian's family and got the big family she wanted I wanted to see something more beyond just romance as part of her character arc. Also I wish we had some justice against Rodrigo. That was all so frustrating. After so much injustice in the book it would've been nice to have some kind of justice. (hide spoiler)]

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    Find Me In Havana is a tough read covering some heavy topics that will have you questioning political activism, the rise to power under dictatorships, & the overall effect upon generations of Cuban families. The stronghold for me was two fold. The way this was written did become burdensome at times as it was labeled in a manner of speaking with Nina and her mothers past letters addressed to her. So, in essence it was a ghostly experience in which we uncover the hardships, the abuse, the dysfunctio Find Me In Havana is a tough read covering some heavy topics that will have you questioning political activism, the rise to power under dictatorships, & the overall effect upon generations of Cuban families. The stronghold for me was two fold. The way this was written did become burdensome at times as it was labeled in a manner of speaking with Nina and her mothers past letters addressed to her. So, in essence it was a ghostly experience in which we uncover the hardships, the abuse, the dysfunctional attributes of this family based on real life encounters. Nina was a woman determined to uncover the truth about her mother's passing. She knew her mother had led a rough life and had fled for her safety. The emotional toll this took as well as the fight or flight responses created a sense of urgency and danger throughout especially with regard to Castro and the rebel soldiers. It seems both mother and daughter lead similar lives that almost became mirror images in seeking fame, fortune, and love. Both had troubled relationships, difficult careers, abusive encounters, and both struggled with physical and mental issues including at least one having been placed in a psych ward. The abuse was what brought me to my knees because it was hard reading about the incidents whether it to the mother or the daughter as neither woman deserved it but what really hurt was the empathy not on the side of the man but from the women. It's hard to imagine the notion of fleeing over the border, being kidnapped, sexually abused, or being sent off to live with a father who shows little interest alongside his new wife. The Chu-Chu scenario in preventing his wife from following her dreams and becoming an actress and singer was extremely difficult to read and get into that hateful and disgusting egotistical mindset. The ending on this centered upon the mother's death but also Nina's accident and thoughtful reflection during that time. The fact she was able to endure, find comfort, solice, and love with Julian was also a beautiful touch and memorable moment in this newest creation by Serena Burdick. Find Me In Havana will truly challenge the thought process of societal norms, of illegal immigrants and of Cuban heritage, of women's equality, of suppression, and of injustices. Estelita is a name you may not have been familiar with prior to the Hollywood Stardom of this era 30-60's but she's a name you'll soon embrace long after this book has ended. It's that stardom that many chase and many fail to achieve yet it's through failing that they find their greatest success! Amazing read that I credit Serena Burdick for writing and her publishers such as Harlequin for providing this ARC in exchange for this blog tour today.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sisters Reviewing Books

    This was pure torture. I am not sure if it was because I listened to an audio version of the book instead of physically reading, but I felt like I was being put through a special version of hell.. I tried listening to it in various settings, thinking a change of scene would help my mood, or set the pace, or help in any way, but I found myself tuning the audio out for minutes at a time and then cutting back in to wonder what I had missed. This was almost a DNR.. or DNL in this case.. but I pushed This was pure torture. I am not sure if it was because I listened to an audio version of the book instead of physically reading, but I felt like I was being put through a special version of hell.. I tried listening to it in various settings, thinking a change of scene would help my mood, or set the pace, or help in any way, but I found myself tuning the audio out for minutes at a time and then cutting back in to wonder what I had missed. This was almost a DNR.. or DNL in this case.. but I pushed through. Where to begin? I will say it started off interesting. I thought the book was going in one direction and was thinking ok cool, insight into a Hollywood mom’s relationship with her neglected daughter. Then it switched to sexual assault/kidnapping. Which then went into TWO Cuban revolutions. Which also included sexual assault (on adults and children). Then it switched over to abuse on abuse on more abuse. And somewhere in between all that, a lesbian lover. And then murder. I’ve read trauma porn before. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is trauma porn to the max, but it’s done WELL. This book is trauma porn for the sake of trauma porn. Oh, you thought she (and the reader) would finally catch a break? NOPE, here’s a woman getting beat up by her FOURTH husband after the THIRD husband sexually assaulted her daughter. Why? Just why? And don’t get me started on the characters. Apparently this was meant to give insight on a “forgotten” Hollywood star and help us remember her in a positive light but... Let’s just say this book is about a neglectful, spineless woman who “raises” an equally annoying, more selfish little girl. The only redeeming part of the whole book is Estelita’s mom who is the ONLY rational guide in both these women’s lives and she gets shit on nonstop throughout the whole thing. No thanks. This was a terrible way to honor her mother if that’s what Nina was going for. Do not read. Or listen.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    The Review A beautiful story of two women connected by family and fate, the novel expertly crafts a narrative of how the daughter of a renowned actress and singer must come to terms with the childhood she had and the life she’s led thus far after her mother’s passing. The shift in perspective between both Nina and her mother Estelita was an inspired choice, as readers are able to get a better sense of where each of them was coming from, and the tragic circumstances they each found themselves in. The Review A beautiful story of two women connected by family and fate, the novel expertly crafts a narrative of how the daughter of a renowned actress and singer must come to terms with the childhood she had and the life she’s led thus far after her mother’s passing. The shift in perspective between both Nina and her mother Estelita was an inspired choice, as readers are able to get a better sense of where each of them was coming from, and the tragic circumstances they each found themselves in. The backdrop of Cuba and the nation’s violent history of revolution and war did a great job of highlighting not only the nation’s history but the vast culture that the people of Cuba had as well. However the core of this story is undoubtedly the relationship between a mother and her daughter, and the daughters need to understand her mother’s life and how to let go of the past in order to move on with her own life. The novel is marred by tragic events to be sure, but the emotional journey is well worth the known outcome and makes this a truly intimate historical fiction read. The Verdict A mesmerizing, emotional, and heartfelt read of the relationship between a mother and her daughter, author Serena Burdick’s “Find Me In Havana” is a must-read historical fiction novel. The real-life people within this novel come to life in a memorable way, and the honest look into the lives of these two women will be something so many of us can connect with. If you haven’t yet, grab your copies today!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mairy

    It was quite hard to get into the story. I finally got in around 85% into it when Nina was trying to make her mother accept what was romantically good for her.. basically anything other than her abusing stepfather. This was a tipping point with dramatic consequences and my soul then dove into the story of Estelita and Nina Rodriguez. A sad, dramatic, historical fiction novel based on the life of Cuban-American actress Estelita Rodriguez, who I have never heard of before. This woman has fought all It was quite hard to get into the story. I finally got in around 85% into it when Nina was trying to make her mother accept what was romantically good for her.. basically anything other than her abusing stepfather. This was a tipping point with dramatic consequences and my soul then dove into the story of Estelita and Nina Rodriguez. A sad, dramatic, historical fiction novel based on the life of Cuban-American actress Estelita Rodriguez, who I have never heard of before. This woman has fought all her life in order to be able to live her dream thanks to the talent God has given her. Unfortunately, the men in her life kept trying to destroy her until they succeeded. So, so sad. As women, especially in the 20th century (less now), one could not fathom a life without a husband, even if this life partner kept trying to change us and reprogram us: stay home, make babies, take care of them, be their servant. So relieved that things have changed for women, though not completely, but at least to make it acceptable to have a good career, dress how we please, not have children if that is not a desire of ours, and be with a man that we love and who respects us. Don't get me wrong, we still have work to do, mentalities still need to be changed, but we are getting there. I think I might have enjoyed the book version better than the audio. Thank you Net Galley and the publisher for this audio advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amy Lee

    4 stars This was a sweeping historical fiction story that takes you from LA, to Mexico and Cuba. The story of Estelita Rodriguez and her daughter Nina is told by alternating perspectives between them. This gives insight into the characters feelings as they are not very good at sharing them with each other. It also allows the reader to see what is the motivation behind some of the decisions that they make. Estelita is so focused on her career that she loses sight of the importance of motherhood an 4 stars This was a sweeping historical fiction story that takes you from LA, to Mexico and Cuba. The story of Estelita Rodriguez and her daughter Nina is told by alternating perspectives between them. This gives insight into the characters feelings as they are not very good at sharing them with each other. It also allows the reader to see what is the motivation behind some of the decisions that they make. Estelita is so focused on her career that she loses sight of the importance of motherhood and struggles with it throughout the book. Nina wants her mother’s love and attention . They face many challenges throughout the story including a kidnapping rescue in Mexico, Cuban imprisonment and sexual assault. The author did a great job building tension and keeping the reader engaged throughout. . This book is based on a true story and shares little known history. My only complaint is that the ending fell a little flat. I was hoping for more resolution and some justice. I would have also liked to hear more about Estelita’s film career. I appreciated the celebrity names in the book but without some background as to their relationship it fell a little flat. Thank you #Netgalley for the audiobook copy in exchange for an honest review

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jay bookworm

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, Park Row (Harlequin) for the advance copy of the book. Seeing the author, Serena Burdick’s, book up for selection, I couldn’t say no. Girl in the Afternoon was one of my favorite books the year that I read it, so I went in with high expectations for another great story. I was not disappointed. This is one of those “based on a true story” novels that make you realize the backstory of certain people make for fascinating reading. We follow Nina and her mother Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, Park Row (Harlequin) for the advance copy of the book. Seeing the author, Serena Burdick’s, book up for selection, I couldn’t say no. Girl in the Afternoon was one of my favorite books the year that I read it, so I went in with high expectations for another great story. I was not disappointed. This is one of those “based on a true story” novels that make you realize the backstory of certain people make for fascinating reading. We follow Nina and her mother Estelita’s lives as they struggle with love, betrayal, tragedy over and over again. The power of family is at the center of the story and it unfolds through letters between Nina and Estelita reflecting on the past, incidents that shaped their lives and things left unsaid. It held my attention from the beginning and I was invested in the characters in short order. The epilogue helped round out the story and was equally fascinating. Great book!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    Based on the true life of Estelita Rodriguez and interviews with daughter Nina, "Find Me In Havana" is a beautiful and heart wrenching tribute. The epistolary style narrative between the mother and daughter reads like an intimate diary, giving insight into each perspective of the events in their tumultuous life. It's that interweaving storyline which gives such depth to their complicated relationship. Tragic and emotional, their intriguing story transports you from Cuba to NYC, Mexico and Califor Based on the true life of Estelita Rodriguez and interviews with daughter Nina, "Find Me In Havana" is a beautiful and heart wrenching tribute. The epistolary style narrative between the mother and daughter reads like an intimate diary, giving insight into each perspective of the events in their tumultuous life. It's that interweaving storyline which gives such depth to their complicated relationship. Tragic and emotional, their intriguing story transports you from Cuba to NYC, Mexico and California. From nightclub beginnings to movie studio parties, international kidnapping and the Cuban Revolution. From humble beginnings to a mysterious end, the story of Estelita Rodriguez and her daughter Nina is one you will not forget.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nada

    Find Me in Havana by Serena Burdick is a tragic but memorable story that encompasses Cuban history, Hollywood, violence against girls, and the relationships between sister, mothers, and daughters. Although written as fiction, this book is based on a true story. Prior to this book, I had never heard of Estelita Rodriguez or her sad and complicated life. Now, as her daughter intended, I will remember her life. Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2021... Reviewed for NetGall Find Me in Havana by Serena Burdick is a tragic but memorable story that encompasses Cuban history, Hollywood, violence against girls, and the relationships between sister, mothers, and daughters. Although written as fiction, this book is based on a true story. Prior to this book, I had never heard of Estelita Rodriguez or her sad and complicated life. Now, as her daughter intended, I will remember her life. Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2021... Reviewed for NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing Winter 2021 historical fiction blog tour.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Wagner

    This is a relatively short novel and yet so much is packed into it- a kidnapping, a mother and daughter fleeing across the Mexican border, Castro's takeover of Cuba, and the long-term effects of childhood trauma. It's a lot of story and at points, I wish the author had expanded the tale, although the novel does work as it is. What made this book a little frustrating was the alternating viewpoints between the mother and daughter, as they tell the story to each other. It's an intriguing way to str This is a relatively short novel and yet so much is packed into it- a kidnapping, a mother and daughter fleeing across the Mexican border, Castro's takeover of Cuba, and the long-term effects of childhood trauma. It's a lot of story and at points, I wish the author had expanded the tale, although the novel does work as it is. What made this book a little frustrating was the alternating viewpoints between the mother and daughter, as they tell the story to each other. It's an intriguing way to structure a novel, but it also felt jarring and uneven at times. Overall, an interesting novel.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Wow, wow, wow. Find Me in Havana was absolutely stunning and amazing. Told in a back-and-forth narrative between Estelita Rodriguez and her daughter, Nina, this is historical fiction at its absolute best. Based on true events from Estelita and Nina's lives, Serena Burdick does a masterful job of combining fact with fiction and captivating the reader/listener. At times heartbreaking, but at others funny and uplifting, I absolutely loved this book. The audio version of Find Me in Havana is narrate Wow, wow, wow. Find Me in Havana was absolutely stunning and amazing. Told in a back-and-forth narrative between Estelita Rodriguez and her daughter, Nina, this is historical fiction at its absolute best. Based on true events from Estelita and Nina's lives, Serena Burdick does a masterful job of combining fact with fiction and captivating the reader/listener. At times heartbreaking, but at others funny and uplifting, I absolutely loved this book. The audio version of Find Me in Havana is narrated by Marisol Ramirez and Frankie Corzo, and they are absolutely perfect.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chantale Canadian Book Addict

    I listened to this book on audiobook and I have to say I did like it very much. Such a good story that gets you hooked.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Winfield

    This book is written as a mother and a daughter writing letters to each other through the good and bad days of their lives. I loved that this book was based on a real mother and daughter. The mother, Estelita, and her daughter Nina learn how each other is feeling through the years. Estelita is an actress and a singer born in Cuba. The story tells how she grows up and ends in the United States. Both Estelita and Nina had many good and bad things happen through their lives. This is a very sad stor This book is written as a mother and a daughter writing letters to each other through the good and bad days of their lives. I loved that this book was based on a real mother and daughter. The mother, Estelita, and her daughter Nina learn how each other is feeling through the years. Estelita is an actress and a singer born in Cuba. The story tells how she grows up and ends in the United States. Both Estelita and Nina had many good and bad things happen through their lives. This is a very sad story but there are many happy points. I received a copy of this book from Harlequin through Netgalley for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Charlsa

    The River Within seems like a classic story of love, loss, class distinction and tragedy. What makes the story unique is Powell’s poetic language and the sense of place that permeates the story. Even though the story opens with a death (not a spoiler), this is a delicate telling of human emotion. It is told by the alternating narration of the four main characters and multiple timelines which can be a challenge to keep straight, but it helps to maintain the tension of the story. I enjoyed this st The River Within seems like a classic story of love, loss, class distinction and tragedy. What makes the story unique is Powell’s poetic language and the sense of place that permeates the story. Even though the story opens with a death (not a spoiler), this is a delicate telling of human emotion. It is told by the alternating narration of the four main characters and multiple timelines which can be a challenge to keep straight, but it helps to maintain the tension of the story. I enjoyed this story and will look for more from this author. Thank you to Net Galley and Europa US, and Dreamscape Media for the Advanced Listener’s Copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    DNF at 14% I think this is a- it's not you, it's me scenario. I'm not connecting with the writing style, I didn't expect some of the content to be so traumatic so early on, and I'm just not as interested as I thought I would be. I was probably hoping for something like Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and this isn't that. DNF at 14% I think this is a- it's not you, it's me scenario. I'm not connecting with the writing style, I didn't expect some of the content to be so traumatic so early on, and I'm just not as interested as I thought I would be. I was probably hoping for something like Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and this isn't that.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Mother daughter relationships are always complicated even in the best circumstances throw in a Hollywood career and it’s even worse. Told in letters, we meet Nina and her mom Estelita. Estelita didn’t really know how to be a mom and an actress so most of the time the actress wins out with some consequences for her daughter and ultimately herself. I really enjoyed their story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alisha Phillips

    This book was a little confusing at first. I listened to it as an audiobook thanks to NetGalley. It was odd that it was written almost as letters from mother to daughter, but the information included in them was pretty detailed and explicit. I would never want to read a letter from my mom like that. I always enjoy a good historical fiction book. I love other Serena Burdick books, but this one was just okay. The storyline was dull at first, became exciting, then quickly went downhill again. Becau This book was a little confusing at first. I listened to it as an audiobook thanks to NetGalley. It was odd that it was written almost as letters from mother to daughter, but the information included in them was pretty detailed and explicit. I would never want to read a letter from my mom like that. I always enjoy a good historical fiction book. I love other Serena Burdick books, but this one was just okay. The storyline was dull at first, became exciting, then quickly went downhill again. Because it was about Cuban Americans it was hard not to compare the book to Chanel Cleeton's Cuba series which is phenomenal. This book just fell flat for me. I didn't care for the narrators' voices either. They were a little robotic.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bookteafull (Danny)

    TW: Molestation, Sexual Assault, Rape, Parental Kidnapping, Domestic Abuse/Intimate Partner Violence, Drug Addiction. This book was basically just Trauma Porn™ - just fyi y'all. Where do I even start? - Author Choice A book about Estelita Rodriguez, a famous Cuban actress and singer, with segments concerning the Cuban Revolution, was written by a non-hispanic, white female. While Estelita's daughter, Nina, agreed to the creation of this book and completed interviews with Burdick for the developmen TW: Molestation, Sexual Assault, Rape, Parental Kidnapping, Domestic Abuse/Intimate Partner Violence, Drug Addiction. This book was basically just Trauma Porn™ - just fyi y'all. Where do I even start? - Author Choice A book about Estelita Rodriguez, a famous Cuban actress and singer, with segments concerning the Cuban Revolution, was written by a non-hispanic, white female. While Estelita's daughter, Nina, agreed to the creation of this book and completed interviews with Burdick for the development of this story, I can't help but feel that this narrative would have been significantly better portrayed had a Cuban (or even a latinx author tbh) written it. Nina mentioned in an interview that she wanted the world to remember the star her mother was and all the sacrifices she made to achieve and maintain her dream job - so wouldn't that have come across as more authentic if she'd chosen someone directly from her culture? Someone who was directly impacted or tied to Cuban politics and the corresponding violence there? Someone who understood the pride that is so closely intertwined with being a Cuban individual in spite of how hard life has fucked them over? No? ... We're going with a white woman you befriended when she was 19? oh... okay. Like, to each their own but I would not have chosen that. - Book Motivation Excuse me, but aren't I supposed to like Estelita if the primary motivator for this book is to 'remember a forgotten star?' Congrats, she got my attention, but also, I kinda hate her. In fact, it's very difficult for me to even be indifferent toward her when she did the following: (view spoiler)[ 1. Didn't kick out her third husband *immediately* after walking in on him molesting Nina. HOw? 2. BARELY spoke to Nina after the assault before placing her back in bed to sleep. The same bed she was LITERALLY just sexually abused in. Like????? Not even a few sentences of comfort?? No sentences telling her she's not to blame??? JFC woman. You suck. 3. She literally states her daughter has never, and will never, be her priority. But like, she's a CHILD. Nina literally needs some emotional care and looking after. 4. Abandons her daughter the second something job related occurs or men are involved. As long as Nina isn't with her father, Estelita is gucci and borderline neglectful. (hide spoiler)] Moreover, for a book that's supposed to remind me of a star - it had VERY little scenes regarding her rise to fame, challenges in the field, career highlights, and methodology in prepping for acting or singing gigs. This book seemed to focus more on trauma porn than anything else. No puedo. - Poor Advertisement I'm gunna copy and paste the summary exactly how it appears, alongside my notes, so that you understand my frustration having just finished this book. Cuba, 1936: When Estelita Rodriguez sings in a hazy Havana nightclub for the very first time, she is nine years old. From then on, that spotlight of adoration--from Havana to New York's Copacabana and then Hollywood--becomes the one true accomplishment no one can take from her. Not the 1933 Cuban Revolution that drove her family into poverty. ***Besides the first chapter with Estelita's POV as a child - we don't actually get to the Havana, Cuba storyline until 50% in, and even then, we leave that setting a few trauma porn chapters later. Besides, Estelita isn't exactly close to her family; she left Cuba when she was a child and was pretty well off tbh on account of being, ya kno, famous. Not the revolving door of husbands and the fickle world of film. Not even the tragic devastation of Castro's revolution that rained down on her loved ones. ***Again, we don't even get that much information about said "loved ones" and Castro's revolution until the 50% mark, and even then it doesn't last until the end of the book. Literally, the first half of this novel is a separate story in and of itself centered on the parental kidnapping of Nina to MEXICO and the quest to escape once she's rescued. Thirty years later, her young adult daughter, Nina Rodriguez, is blindsided by her mother's mysterious, untimely death. *** NINA IS ONLY AN ADULT FOR THE LAST 10%-ISH OF THIS BOOK THO. THE STORY ALTERNATES PRIMARILY BETWEEN GROWN ESTELITA'S POV & CHILD NINA'S POV GTFO. Also mysterious? Let's not kid ourselves. Nina knows deep down in her gut what happened. I mean, c'mon now, she accused the guy to his face. Seeking answers no one else wants to hear, the grieving Nina navigates the troubling, opulent memories of their life together and discovers how much Estelita sacrificed to live the American dream on her own terms. ***What exactly did Estelita sacrifice? She seemed okay disregarding the majority of her family and point blank stated her daughter was never a priority to her. She didn't sacrifice shit. You have to be genuinely concerned about a thing or care about it for it to be a true sacrifice. Sigh. Based on true events and exclusive interviews with the real Nina Rodriguez, Find Me in Havana weaves two unforgettable voices into one extraordinary journey that explores the unbreakable bond between mother and child, and the ever-changing landscape of self-discovery. ***The self-discovery is barely existent - just sayin. And LMAO "... explores the unbreakable bond between mother and child" should be replaced with any of the following and it'd be more correct than that statement - 1. ... explores the generational violence and trauma between mother and child. 2. ... explores how easy it is for a mother to leave her kid in a boarding school or with her abuela for weeks or months at a time. 3. ...explores the severely poor coping mechanisms of both mother and child. I just Find Me in Havana (which honestly shouldn't even be called that considering we spend the majority of time either in LA or Mexico) was disappointing in so many ways and unnecessarily graphic. Like, for why? Didn't like it, but listened to the entire thing in audio because I'm apparently a masochist. Positives: - You can tell the author did some research. - Narrators were on point. - Felt for Nina from her very first POV. All the adults may have sucked but she was just a child in a series of shitty situations without appropriate active supports. Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an arc of this audible in exchange for an honest review. I probably would have purchased this book otherwise. *shudder*

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality This is one of those stories that lives up to the adage “fiction is the lie that tells the truth.” Because this is a fictionalized story of a real life, a real death, and a real mystery. The author, having been told this story, filled in the blanks provided by the story of a daughter, 30 years later, telling the story of the mother who died under mysterious circumstances, and whom, quite possibly, she never really knew. The woman at the center of this story Originally published at Reading Reality This is one of those stories that lives up to the adage “fiction is the lie that tells the truth.” Because this is a fictionalized story of a real life, a real death, and a real mystery. The author, having been told this story, filled in the blanks provided by the story of a daughter, 30 years later, telling the story of the mother who died under mysterious circumstances, and whom, quite possibly, she never really knew. The woman at the center of this story is Estelita Rodriguez, a Cuban actress who was featured in a series of Westerns with Roy Rogers, and whose best known role was in Rio Bravo with John Wayne. She died young and under rather mysterious circumstances in 1966, at the age of 37, leaving behind a husband she was about to divorce and a 20-year-old daughter whose memories provide the heart of this pseudo-speculative biography. I say pseudo because Nina Rodriguez, although she tells this story much, much later in her life, is remembering events in her mother’s life that she either witnessed as a child or pieced together long after the events. Much of what she remembers is filtered through her childhood perspective and some of it may be inaccurate, either because of a lack of perspective, a lack of information, or simply the tendency of memories to blur over time. So Nina’s memory of her stepfather Grant Withers’ death isn’t quite what happened. Or rather it isn’t quite when and where it happened. He did die that way, but four years after her mother divorced him and neither Estelita nor Nina were witnesses. Time and memory play tricks on us all. The story is also speculative because the cause of Estelita’s death was not determined at the time, so the mystery surrounding her death has never been resolved. It may be as Nina describes it in the book. That story fits the pieces she had but we’ll never really know. What we do have is a story that blends Nina’s memories with messages that are written as if they came from Estelita. It’s the story of a life that had its highs and lows, but also a life that traveled from, through, and returned to some very dark times and places. And she survived, even if entirely too often by the skin of her teeth. Until, suddenly and unexpectedly, she was gone. Leaving her daughter to pick up the tiny, broken pieces of both of their lives. Escape Rating B: In a week where I was looking for stories with happy endings, this one was particularly heartbreaking. Estelita’s story is a walk through some very dark places, to the point where the reader sometimes questions how she managed to survive as long as she did. It’s also a story where the protagonist has sown the seeds of their own destruction to the point where it’s not really a surprise that it finally reaches out and sucks her under. One of the things that surprised me while reading is just how much Estelita and the heroine of yesterday’s book have in common. That they are both Latinx is the superficial part of that similarity. The deeper underlying commonality is the way that they both spend their lives looking for validation through the eyes of and in their relationships with, men. Usually the wrong men, at that. The differences begin because Jasmine, yesterday’s heroine, gets herself out of that trap, where Estelita never does. But part of Jasmine’s ability to do that comes from her marvelously supportive family, where Estelita seems to have always been an outsider in hers. And that the times they lived in were so very different. The hardest part of Estelita’s life to read, however, relates to her experience of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, when she briefly returned to her homeland after her father and two of her brothers-in-law had been imprisoned for their support of the ousted Batista. The harrowing events of those few brief months, at least according to this fictionalized biography, left both Estelita and Nina emotionally scarred for the rest of their lives. If it happened this way, or at all. In the end, I have mixed feelings about this book. It is, as I said earlier, a walk through very dark places, whether fictionalized or not. It’s an absorbing read, even if it was not what I was in the mood for, and that colors my perceptions. The story also feels very subjective, as it isn’t so much Estelita’s story as it is Nina’s recollections of Estelita’s story as seen through Nina’s eyes as a child and young adult. The two women don’t relate as much to or understand each other nearly as well as the blurb might lead readers to believe. In the end, a frequently compelling read, but not a remotely happy one.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    (4.5⭐️) FIND ME IN HAVANA by Serena Burdick is the historical fiction book that is based on the true events of the life of Cuban-born Hollywood actress Estelita Rodriguez. Flipping through the beginning of my #gifted book from Harper Collins, I didn’t plan on reading it right away, but I immediately was caught up in Burdick’s prose. This book is beautiful. She tells Estelita and her daughter, Nina’s, story in a mesmerizing way that makes you not want to put the book down. Believe me, I can attes (4.5⭐️) FIND ME IN HAVANA by Serena Burdick is the historical fiction book that is based on the true events of the life of Cuban-born Hollywood actress Estelita Rodriguez. Flipping through the beginning of my #gifted book from Harper Collins, I didn’t plan on reading it right away, but I immediately was caught up in Burdick’s prose. This book is beautiful. She tells Estelita and her daughter, Nina’s, story in a mesmerizing way that makes you not want to put the book down. Believe me, I can attest to this - I read 179 pages before I finally shut it for the first time! ⁣ ⁣ I loved the fact that Estelita actually existed and I can go look her up. And you should! The photograph on her Wikipedia is stunning 😍 You can see why she was part of the old time Hollywood crew - I can’t wait to look up some of her films! Burdick actually interviewed Nina Lopez to incorporate the true events. It is easy to feel the powerful love that is felt between the mother and daughter in this book. ⁣ ⁣ FIND ME IN HAVANA is wrote in the form of love letters that alternate narration. Estelita and Nina are each telling the story of what happens over the span of their lives. Honestly, if someone were tell me that sentence I would think the book would be very confusing, but it was quite the opposite. Every chapter was more intriguing with the plot developing this way. ⁣ ⁣ I won’t sugarcoat it: Estelita and Nina did not have easy lives. This book was uncomfortable at moments, but Burdick handle everything with grace with her writing. It was truthful and tasteful - tasteful as horrifying as any of the trigger warnings at the bottom of the review can be. ⁣ ⁣ This is a book I’m so happy I read. One, I found a new author that I can’t wait to read other books that she wrote. Two, I learned about an amazing Hispanic actress from our history. Three, it was a stunning book that kept me captivated. Do yourself a favor and pick up FIND ME IN HAVANA, Estelita Rodriguez is worth knowing. ⁣ ⁣ 𝗙𝗜𝗡𝗗 𝗠𝗘 𝗜𝗡 𝗛𝗔𝗩𝗔𝗡𝗔 𝗶𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝘀𝗮𝗹𝗲 𝗝𝗮𝗻𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝟭𝟮𝘁𝗵. ⁣ ⁣ TW: suicide, child molestation, attempted /rape, spousal abuse⁣  ⁣ 𝘊𝘶𝘣𝘢, 𝟷𝟿𝟹𝟼: 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘌𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘢 𝘙𝘰𝘥𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘶𝘦𝘻 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘩𝘢𝘻𝘺 𝘏𝘢𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘢 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘣 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦, 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘰𝘭𝘥. 𝘍𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘰𝘯, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘵𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯—𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘏𝘢𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘢 𝘵𝘰 𝘕𝘦𝘸 𝘠𝘰𝘳𝘬’𝘴 𝘊𝘰𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘢𝘣𝘢𝘯𝘢 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘏𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘺𝘸𝘰𝘰𝘥—𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘯𝘰 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘩𝘦𝘳. 𝘕𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝟷𝟿𝟹𝟹 𝘊𝘶𝘣𝘢𝘯 𝘙𝘦𝘷𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘺. 𝘕𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘰𝘰𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘩𝘶𝘴𝘣𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘮. 𝘕𝘰𝘵 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘤 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘍𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘭 𝘊𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰’𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘰𝘯 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴.⁣ ⁣ 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘺 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘥𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘥𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘕𝘪𝘯𝘢 𝘓𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘻, 𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳’𝘴 𝘮𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩. 𝘚𝘦𝘦𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘯𝘰 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘦𝘭𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘕𝘪𝘯𝘢 𝘯𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘰𝘱𝘶𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘌𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘢 𝘴𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘈𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮 𝘰𝘯 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮𝘴.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    I am a fan of classic movies, but had never heard of actress Estelita Rodriguez before picking up Serena Burdick's new novel, Find Me in Havana. Estelita was groomed for the stage as a child in her home country of Cuba before moving to the United States as a teenager to star in numerous westerns alongside the likes of Roy Rogers and John Wayne. However, she died a mysterious death at the age of 37, which is the jumping off point of this rich and enveloping novel of the relationship between a mot I am a fan of classic movies, but had never heard of actress Estelita Rodriguez before picking up Serena Burdick's new novel, Find Me in Havana. Estelita was groomed for the stage as a child in her home country of Cuba before moving to the United States as a teenager to star in numerous westerns alongside the likes of Roy Rogers and John Wayne. However, she died a mysterious death at the age of 37, which is the jumping off point of this rich and enveloping novel of the relationship between a mother and her daughter. Nina knows that her mother did not die by accident, and she is determined to unravel just what happened in their lives to leave her alone in the world without her dear mamá. Told in alternating letters from mother to daughter and daughter to mother, Find Me in Havana takes us back to Estelita's early days in Cuba, where she grew up on a plantation amidst revolution and political strife, and follows her to Hollywood, where she made a name for herself in showbiz. Along the way, she has relationships with numerous questionable men, but the light of her life always remains her daughter Nina. Nina's letters show what it was like to grow up as Estelita's daughter, and highlight important and life-changing moments in their relationship, including a kidnapping attempt by Nina's father, singer Chu Chu Martinez, and harrowing time spent holed up in the family's plantation during the Castro-led Cuban Revolution. Find Me in Havana is a lush and evocative love story between mother and daughter. As you read this novel, you can't help but get wrapped up in Estelita and Nina's lives and relationship with each other. I held on with bated breath to discover what awaited these two on their life journey together, and found myself truly immersed in this intimate and poignant story. I also learned much about Cuban culture and history through this descriptive novel. Burdick brings Estelita Rodriguez vividly to life in this captivating testament to family and love. Readers will also be pleased to know that Burdick worked with the real Nina Lopez to tell Estelita's story, so this book is full of details and moments that only she would know, making it a true tribute to her mother's legacy. Lastly, I listened to an audiobook production of this novel, which was a wonderful experience. Marisol Ramirez and Frankie Corzo provide dual narration, bringing to life the characters of Estelita and Nina. Ramirez and Corzo do an excellent job of making this story compelling and believable, and I enjoyed the voice work that they put into this book. I always love listening to an audiobook when the story focuses on diverse characters, as I am granted the opportunity to hear the story read the way it is supposed to be, and do not have to worry about mispronouncing unfamiliar words as I read.

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