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Read advance reader review of Hotel Cuba by Aaron Hamburger

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Hotel Cuba

A Novel

by Aaron Hamburger

Hotel Cuba by Aaron Hamburger X
Hotel Cuba by Aaron Hamburger
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There are currently 23 member reviews
for Hotel Cuba
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  • Alana G. (Palmetto Bay, FL)
    Hotel Cuba
    I was drawn to this book because it is set in Cuba (where my ancestors are from, but which I have never visited). I enjoyed that it offered what I feel is an honest tale of immigration; one in which hard work is rewarded (although not with overnight luxury). Although I found Pearl to be an unlikeable protagonist, I admired her pragmatism. She never wavered in her choices and at the end of the novel, one can look back on her journey and make sense of it all.

    Aside from the storyline, I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the vibrant, colorful, and flavorful Havana against grey and bland New York. I appreciate that the novel didn't fall into the grandiose New York City clichés often found in immigration novels, although it did romanticize Cuba.

    This novel is beautifully written, and its protagonist is well developed. Overall, it is a very good book. I would recommend this to people who enjoy works of historical fiction.
  • Jennifer H. (Mishawaka, IN)
    It can be a nightmare getting to the American Dream!
    I loved this book. It is the real deal. Beautifully written, enthralling, entertaining and educational. The sisters' travel in the bowels of the SS Hudson from the Old World to the New was not for the feint hearted. The portrayal of the Cuban Havana scene in the early 1900's was so vividly realistic, I felt I was there. Then we have life in NYC and Detroit! The characters all had depth and heart, Pearl in particular. It was a very satisfying read.
  • Vicky R. (Roswell, GA)
    Wonderful historical fiction
    Oh my gosh I loved everything about this book! The story, based on the author's grandparents, was interesting, engaging and simply a wonderful read. I learned so much about Cuba during post WWI, the older days of Cuba, and loved following the journey of Pearl and Frieda. I feel privileged to have been able to read a copy of this wonderful book before it's release.
  • Barbara T. (Houston, TX)
    Hotel Cuba
    After reading Hotel Cuba, the characters and their stories remain in my thoughts and I want to learn more about their circumstances that affected so many struggling as they did. The author has taken stories from his own extended family. This story focuses on 2 Jewish sisters escaping Russia after WW1 to come to NY to be with their sisters and are turned away and sent to Cuba. The character development is so well described throughout the book and you keep knowing them better as you read. Some characters are a bit quirky and fascinating - a great addition to the story. You can visualize what life in Cuba was like during that time. You also feel for and empathize with the characters and their struggle to make a living while waiting to hopefully get safely to America. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and will definitely recommend it to my book club.
  • Paula K. (Cave Creek, AZ)
    Three Cheers for Pearl: Hotel Cuba
    The character of Pearl in Hotel Cuba may be the best female character I have come across in a very long time. She carries the book. From the opening pages, author Aaron Hamburger tells us everything we need to know about Pearl. First her name: to use a cliche, she is a real gem. Three paragraphs in: "Eat," says Pearl, offering an orange to her younger sister, Frieda." From her youth (which was really not a youth as we know it), Pearl has always taken care of Frieda just as she has taken care of others. She grows a tough protective shell, in part from her embarrassment of not knowing the ways of a new culture but mostly from her own insecurity as the family workhorse. The sheer joy of Hotel Cuba is watching Pearl's growth first as a woman but also as she gains confidence in her work as a seamstress. It's like watching a colt learning how to walk on wobbly legs while you are rooting all the way for it to gain stride and trot off into the sunset. Hotel Cuba is beautifully told, a testimonial to the strength of the human spirit and a reminder that, no matter what, we need to keep putting one foot in front of the next to move forward. Or, as Pearl ponders near the book's conclusion: "This is how life is, giving up some things to get others.You make these decisions one at a time, find the best way to push forward, and move to the next thing. It's the opposite of making a dress, where everything is planned out before you act. Only when you look back on your life do your choices create a line, a shape, yes a pattern."
  • Barbara B. (Bradenton, FL)
    Hotel Cuba
    This is a very good book. A quick read and held my interest until the very end. I liked the story and the characters. It opened up an area that I was not aware of before. I would like to read additional books by this author.
  • Ruth H. (Sebring, FL)
    Keeping One's Hope Alive
    A very well written story, could not put this book down! This is an amazing story of what Pearl and Frieda, sisters, went through to exit a war torn country to make it to America, via Cuba. Based on a true story during the 1900's, the author writes descriptions of Cuba and what goes on behind the touristy side of Havana. Loved all the characters, but mostly Pearl, she never gave up! I highly recommend this book! WELL Done Aaron Hamburger. Thanks BookBrowse for this great book!

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