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Cuban Heels

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  722 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
Maggie moves to Brighton after splitting up with her long-term boyfriend, and, unable to find a job, starts work as a lapdancer. Failing to make any new friends, she writes letters compulsively, and the highlight of her day is the sound of the morning post being delivered. Maggie gradually becomes obsessed with the married couple, Libby and David, living next door. Libby h ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 8th 2004 by Headline Review (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 17, 2012 Cláudia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2012
Emily Barr always write in a way that makes it almost impossible to stop reading, even if you absolutely can't stand the main character. Oh, how I hated Maggie. Still do!
This book is the most depressive and oppressive I've read so far from this author, glad I already read several others or I don't know if I would continue...
Also,if a writer is using a foreign language, he/she should be completely sure the words and phrases are correct. Several of the "spanish" words and expressions used were in
Nov 30, 2008 Kelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who needs an easy airplane read.
though this is not my typical choice of reading material, i did enjoy this book. i read the majority of the book on a flight from california to michigan and it made the trip did the vodka. i suggest drinking and flying while reading this book...i don't know if i'd have liked it as much if i was grounded and sober.
Beata Bowen
In "Cuba" Emily Barr serves up her signature cocktail of chick lit and sociopolitical commentary. Just take some relationship pressures, mix in daddy issues, throw in a few repressed memories, the trade embargo, dual economy, add some simple syrup and top it off with a lime wedge. Mmmmm..... Delicious!
Oct 29, 2011 Sharla rated it liked it
Having read several of Emily Barr's books before I knew I would enjoy this one too. Quite a sinister turn in the story and I did feel the last bit was sort of rushed through.
Jan 06, 2011 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book so much. One of my favorite authors by far.
Bev Taylor
Oct 27, 2016 Bev Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is also entitled cuban heels

bored with your life? steal someone else's ......

after maggie was ditched by her boyfriend of 5 years she moved to brighton. unable to find a job she ended up as a lap dancer but told everyone else she worked for amex good advertisement!

she has no friends but when she bought a baby monitor for her sister she finds it tunes into the same frequency as the couple upstairs with a young son and so begins a 'remote' friendship

discovering they r moving to cuba for 6
Rianna Rowsell
Dec 22, 2016 Rianna Rowsell rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
I finished it, but not because I really wanted to. Every time I was about to give up, something would make me think "this will explain why I need to care" - it would explain, but I still didn't like or empathise with any of the characters.
May 10, 2012 Kiwiflora rated it liked it

Ah, chick lit. What a delightful little divergence from the realities of our usually mundane lives of work, children, family, friends, dog walking, food shopping; peace and quiet, not necessarily in that particular order. Attractive, successful, slightly flawed heroine strikes a bit of a rocky patch; attractive, successful, not at all flawed hero in the background just waiting to pick up those broken pieces...a light frolicky bit of froth.

And then there are the slightly darker novels, which alth
Feb 13, 2013 Ape rated it it was ok
I've had this book for almost four years and I've now gotten around to reading it. I've read her other book, backpack, which was all right. This was.... not as good. It was all right, passed the time, but there wasn't the feeling of travel and adventure that I got from backpack; it just seemed to be more towards the standard side of chick lit things, with far too much about babies and breastfeeding (yawn) - had I known, I probably wouldn't have bothered with this book. I had hoped for more of th ...more
Dec 19, 2015 Sharon rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Natalie aka: PajamaBookGirl
Jul 22, 2013 Natalie aka: PajamaBookGirl rated it it was amazing
** Not a proper review, This is from my Blast from the past - Book of the month section from my website. This is July 2013 book of the month and my reasons why.**

I chose Cuban Heels by Emily Barr as it was the first book I read after becoming a mum. I was lost in a world of depression/baby blues and had lost me and my enjoyment in anything I previously did. One afternoon my husband asked why don't I go have a lie down and read for a bit. I wasn't fussed as I'd tried previously and couldn't get i
Emily Randall
Oct 01, 2011 Emily Randall rated it it was ok
This is my first ever Emily Barr book....I’m not the biggest fan of chic lit these days but I picked it up at the uncon and started reading it because I was intrigued to see what Barr has to offer and why she is so popular. I quite like how she's laid out the book, Maggie's chapter vs. Libby's....after reading the front though, I suspect my first Barr book should have been Backpack, Baggage and Atlantic Shift...never mind.

It wasn't a bad little story and it kept me turning the pages...I wanted t
Jun 19, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit
The main Girl in this book pissed me off so much. You were supposed to feel sympathy for her because she was kind of crazy, but she was crazy for something that happened to her when she was a child and now she is almost 30. I did not. Girl who doesn’t have much of a life, discovers that the baby monitors she bought for her sister picks up reception of her neighbours. She spies on them. She wants to be friends with them. When she discovers they are going off to live in Cuba, she follows them. I’m ...more
Kieran Walsh
This was an intresting take on Travel Fiction which can sometimes be a little bland. What started out as a relatively simple read quickly became very dark. Margaret carries enough suspense with her to keep the reader engaged (or at least engaged enough to find out why she's seriously crazy). Even the neatly bundled up conclusion didn't throw a bright light on an otherwise twisted story. Barr gets top marks for incorporating a dark tale into an otherwise subtly beautiful environment, use of inter ...more
Minty McBunny
Jan 22, 2014 Minty McBunny rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, january-2014
I pulled this book off my shelf, as Id run out of library books for the week. Back in the early 2000's, I was flying round trip from Seattle to London every month and I went through a ton of books. This was one of them, and I didn't remember much about it, aside from that I liked it better than the other two books I had by the same author.

As far as chick lit goes, I think it's a cut above average. Back when I first read it, the whole unreliable narrator thing wasn't so common, so I was really t
Jul 04, 2014 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 3.5 stars. I did enjoy this book, as I enjoy Emily Barr's writing so much, but this was not the best of her books. That said, I found it very entertaining and more than a little surprising.
I didn't expect the story to go the way it did, but enjoyed it anyway.
The main character was a bit of a nutjob, but it turned out she had a good reason for being the way she was. She was very "human", and I did have some sympathy for her.
The other two main characters of Libby and David I am afraid I
Apr 18, 2009 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emily Barr, you are sooo sinister! I appreciated this very fresh take on chick lit…exposing, in a pretty extreme way, the darker forces in one young woman’s life. I was pretty hooked in the beginning, but my interest began to taper off the more I read. The ending was a bit of a let-down, like it never built up to the crescendo that was needed. Barr writes in very simple, straight-forward, sort of zingy sentences. Makes for quick reading, but sometimes I longed for a more advanced prose style.

Aug 24, 2010 Kavfrou rated it liked it

a weird lonesome girl turns into stalker by means of baby monitor.. first i thought she was very adventourous, pretty much excited by her sudden departure and impulse to follow her 'objects of desire'... and some unflattering moments away, furious with the main character i want to dump this book to the trash can... the 3/4 part of this book is entertaining, however i just hate the ending.. i think the author seemed to rush her ending..probably deadline?
Aug 24, 2010 Ina rated it did not like it
I read this some months ago and from what I remember was not that impressed. It's a bit too similar to Single White Female. I thought the constant reference to her dead sister in a "something sinister happened" was really annoying. The story line was really poor and not very believable. Why would a parent whose child has just been abducted by a woman who is clearly mentally unstable not phone the police??
Aug 24, 2010 Tory rated it really liked it
At a point in this book the main character writes a letter to the woman she is basically stalking, then says to herself, of course I would never send it, she wouldn’t understand and only think I am weird.

But, dude, she IS weird.

It’s a bizarre story about a woman that was in the midst of a complete mental breakdown, but didn’t really know it.

Really good, though totally unexpected. It made me laugh.
Celia Tuckfield
Dec 29, 2015 Celia Tuckfield rated it it was ok
This book had a promising start but a poor ending. Which ruined the sinister undertone of the rest of the book.

The plot pointed towards one character as a baddie but you could tell this wasn't the case.

Told from 2 points of view I found both of the storytellers quite dull. There were twists and turns but they were a bit obvious.

I have read some of her other books which were so much better.
Aug 02, 2007 Suz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I saw this book displayed in the library and thought to give the author a try. A considerably entertaining read for my last few days of pregnancy, but I think anything entertains me at this point. Barr's description of Cuba was decent but not vivid enough for me. I will probably try reading her other novels (e.g. "Baggage" and "Backpack"), however, since they have received good reviews.
Sep 12, 2014 Lucy rated it liked it
I was undecided whether to give this book a rating of two or three stars. I went for three only because I found it interesting reading about a foreigner going to Cuba to learn salsa and Spanish, and it inspired me to travel. However, I found the main character,Maggie, to be quite ridiculous, and her behaviour, at times, unconvincing.
Carly Mae
This was a pretty good book. Not earth-shattering, but entertaining. It was the last of Emily Barrs books that I needed to read and now that I have I can say that my favorite is still the first one I read, "Backpack". All the other books lacked the ability to place you in the narrators shoes the way that "Backpack" did.
Compared to other books by this author I was a bit disappointed. The main character ends up being rather less than appealing, and in fact all of the characters are pretty unpleasant, with the slight possible exception of David. But as the heroine points out, even he has feet of clay. Barr writes well, but can do better than this one.
Jul 29, 2011 Karen rated it did not like it
This is an ugly book, despite the occasionally stunning scenery and 'local colour' of Cuba, populated by odious characters. Libby is smug and shallow, Yasmin is destructive (I'm not convinced by her reformation), David is weak and insincere and Maggie is, let's face it, a mentally ill, scary stalker.
Madeleine McDonald
Jun 23, 2014 Madeleine McDonald rated it liked it
Despite the lurid cover, this was a quick, enjoyable read. I found the ending a little too neat and upbeat, considering Maggie's criminal activities. Vivid descriptions of life in Castro's Cuba kept me reading. The author manages to portray unhinged, obsessive Maggie in a sympathetic light.
May 02, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
I'm making my way through all Emily Barr's novels as I really love the ways she blends chic lit, crime and travel literature. I read this a long time ago and enjoyed re-reading it. The plot is a bit far-fetched but once I got over that I really enjoyed it.
Oct 24, 2010 Leo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A slow read for me. Thought I never able to finish it but thanks to a weekend getaway where I purposely pack only this book along that I managed to force myself to finish it. So that I won't feel guilty later. To sum up - think single, white female - the milder version.
Zeke Applegate
The main woman has so bad a feelings for herself trhat she goes numb to feeling, stipping to make aliving and wanting a life so bad she attaches herself to her neighbors but finally workes out her block about her sisters death.
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Bradley Associates: Straat ruzie in Cuba 2 4 Jul 18, 2013 12:43AM  
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Emily Barr worked as a journalist in London, but always hankered after a quiet room and a book to write. She went travelling for a year, writing a column in the Guardian about it as she went, and it was there that she had an idea for a novel set in the world of backpackers in Asia. This became Backpack, which won the WH Smith New Talent Award. She has since written eleven more adult novels publish ...more
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