Author: Serena Burdick

Narrators: Marisol Ramirez and Frankie Corzo

Publication Date: January 12, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Description

A new historical novel from Serena Burdick, the author of THE GIRLS WITH NO NAMES, based on the true story of Estelita Rodriguez, a Cuban-born Hollywood actress and singer, as her daughter Nina traces her mother’s life from Cuba to Hollywood to understand her mysterious death, think NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA meets THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO.

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 and the fickle world of film. Not even the tragic devastation of Castro’s revolution that rained down on her loved ones.

Thirty years later, her young adult daughter, Nina Rodriguez, is blindsided by her mother’s mysterious, 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.

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.

Book Review

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.

Estelita Rodriguez is a Cuban actress and singer that moved to Hollywood for her career. After her mother’s unexpected death, Nina looks back through Estelita’s life to try to figure out what caused it. Estelita and Nina have a complicated and difficult relationship.

I didn’t know anything about Estelita Rodriguez before reading Find Me in Havana but now want to know more about it. Find Me in Havana is an interesting story about Hollywood and how fame affects people and their families. There are also parts about Estelita growing up in Cuba.

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.

Nina was sent to boarding school after dealing with a traumatic event. She thought her mother didn’t want to deal with her or the situation which wasn’t true. Later, someone told Nina her mother didn’t want her anymore.

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.

I listened to the audiobook by Marisol Ramirez and Frankie Corzo. They did a great job narrating which added to the story.

Thank you NetGalley, Edelweiss, Harper Audio, Harlequin Audio, Harper Collins and Park Row for Find Me in Havana.

About the Author

Serena Burdick is the Toronto Star, Publishers’ Weekly and international bestselling author of THE GIRLS WITH NO NAMES. She is the author of the forthcoming novel FIND ME IN HAVANA (January, 2021) and the 2017 International Book Award Winner for Historical Fiction for her novel GIRL IN THE AFTERNOON. She studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence, holds a Bachelors of Arts from Brooklyn College in English literature and an Associates of Arts from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in theater. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.

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