Our Last Days in Barcelona

Berkley. May 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780593197820. pap. $17. F
In 1964 Palm Beach, Cuban exile Isabel Perez is determined to find her sister Beatriz, who has vanished without a trace. Isabel forms an alliance with a man named Diego, who says he is Beatriz’s friend. With no other choice but to trust him, Isabel travels with Diego to Spain, trying to retrace her sister’s footsteps. What they find is that Beatriz is involved with the CIA and its web of spies in a risky plot to overthrow Fidel Castro. Stranger still, Isabel discovers that a chapter of her mother Alicia’s own story that started in 1936, is closely linked to Beatriz’s disappearance. In a magnificent tale of resilience and courage, Cleeton weaves a mother’s past with her daughters’ present, both forged in times of war and revolution. From Cuba to Barcelona to Palm Beach, Cleeton describes historical events so accurately and vividly that readers will feel transported to the 1930s and ’60s.
VERDICT Historical fiction fans will love this novel by Cleeton (The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba) and its perfectly detailed descriptions of a long-gone era.
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