Cuba, 1950: As Esmeralda moved past Christopher, her breath stilled as he caught her finger in his. It was only a split-second, their fingers intertwined in a hold so brief that no one could have possibly noticed, but it told her everything she needed to know. He didn’t just come to see Cuba. He travelled all this way to see me.
London, present day. When Claudia discovers that her grandmother was born at Hope’s House, a home for unmarried mothers, everything she thought she knew about her family is shattered in an instant. Looking down at a faded family crest, she is determined to discover how it can possibly relate to her grandmother. Soon Claudia learns that the crest belongs to the Diaz family, once one of the wealthiest dynasties in Cuba. Impulsively Claudia books a ticket to Havana, feeling sure in her heart that she will be able to uncover her family’s true story.
Arriving in the bustling and vibrant city she meets a young man named Mateo, a chef who loves nothing more than to cook his family’s recipes. As they get to know each other over dinner, Mateo says that his grandfather worked for the Diaz family and he too wants to uncover what happened.
But when they arrive at the Diaz family home, they find it completely abandoned as if preserved in time from the 1950s. It’s not long before they uncover a heartbreaking story about Claudia’s family and of a young woman who was forced to leave behind everything she’d ever known in search of true love.
As Claudia becomes closer to Mateo, will her family’s story of bravery and sacrifice inspire her to follow her own heart to Cuba? Or will the tragic love story force her home?
An utterly gripping and heart-wrenching novel about family secrets, lost loves and new beginnings. Perfect for fans of Santa Montefiore, Lucinda Riley and Victoria Hislop.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 305
Date of Publication: September 23, 2022
My Rating: 5 Stars
In this touching second book in The Lost Daughters series, this dual timeline book tells the stories of Esmarelda in Havana, 1950 and present day, London. Their lives were indeed connected and Claudia makes great strides when it comes to learning about her grandmother’s history.
Claudia has just broken her engagement and has also quit her job, and these life changes enable her to track down the history of a family crest that lies in Cuba. Claudia really hopes that she will be able to unravel her history, which leads her to a family dynasty she had been unaware of. This is where Esmeralda’s story comes in, and the book switches seamlessly through both timelines.
While in Havana, Claudia meets a chef named Mateo and soon learns that his grandfather once worked for the Diaz family, and this information brings Claudia even closer to the past she is struggling to uncover. With regard to Esmeralda, her heart was torn. Her family was being forced to flee Cuba, but she wanted to be with the young man she fell in love with, a merchant named a Christopher. This creates a huge conflict for Esmeralda, and in a heartbreaking fashion, readers will see the devastating choice she was forced to make.
This lovely series began in Italy, this book was set in Cuba, and Soraya Lane will next take her readers to Greece. The stories are warm and inviting, and make the perfect accompaniment to a nice cup of tea or coffee.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Soraya lives on a small farm in her native New Zealand with her husband, their two young sons and a collection of four legged friends. When she's not writing, she loves to be outside playing make-believe with her children or snuggled up inside reading.
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