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The Price of Paradise

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  5,887 ratings  ·  611 reviews
In a city as corrupt as it was luxurious, those who dared to dream were bound to pay the price.

Havana, Cuba, 1947. Young Patricio flees impoverished Spain and steps into the sultry island paradise of Havana with only the clothes on his back and half-baked dreams of a better life. Blessed with good looks and natural charm, he lands a job as a runner at El Encanto—one of the
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 1st 2019 by Amazon Crossing (first published 2017)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,887 ratings  ·  611 reviews

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Geza Tatrallyay
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful love story set largely in sumptuous pre-Revolutionary Cuba and then into the times of Castro and Ché who are intricately portrayed in the latter chapters. The protagonist and his friends are from Asturias in Spain; Patricio, the hero, falls in love with the young wife of one of the vicious mafia leaders. The rest of the book is about how this unfolds and the surprise ending is particularly magnificent. Read it!
Kristen Peyton
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The girl looked at me with sad eyes, and my heart trembled. Those eyes seemed like quicksand: easy to fall into and impossible to climb out of.”

I knew not far into this book that it was going to be one of my favorites for the year. For starters, it was so Interesting with the cultures imbedded. Historical fiction is a newer genre for me and being that this one has romance intertwined had me all wrapped up. There were happy parts, sad parts, heart wrenching parts. I truly loved this story. ❤️
Shari Ring Wolf
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely story

This is a beautiful, historical love story that spans 50 years. It tells of soul mate love, friendship, and survival. Old Havana comes alive in this book. I'm not familiar with the history of Havana during this era, so I can't speak to it's historical accuracy, but the settings and story felt true. It doesn't read like a translated book, although it is. It took awhile for me to get into the book, but once I did, I felt like I had been transported to another world.
Admittedly, I didn't have high expectations for this one. I only read it because it's fiction in translation and it's about Cuba, where I've been. The writing is painfully pedestrian and the story is filled with romantic cliches. The historic details were well-done, though.
I didn't realize when I bought this audio book I was getting a sappy, romance story, with mobsters, star-crossed lovers and all the trimmings. I thought it was historical fiction about Cuba before the revolution. Ah, well. It wasn't so bad that I had to stop listening. Cynthia Farrell and the always good Thom Rivera did a nice job on the narration, and the history seemed fairly accurate.
I give it 3 1/2 stars.
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I enjoyed my time with this. I noted that this comes almost on the heels of my having read Graham Greene's Our Man in Havana. The time period is not quite identical, but discussing the Greene in a group it was noted how that one gave a good feeling about the Havana of the time. The Price of Paradise does this even better.

I knew Havana was a post-war place of glamour and glitz. The author has been a screenwriter and that skill comes through. The book is written in scenes, though I wouldn't quite
Susana Lopez Rubio has crafted a very compelling story line about life in Havana in the 1950's.

The genre of this novel is Historical Romance. I usually am not attracted to this type of book. Most romance to me seems contrived. Not so this book.

Patricio leaves a destitute Spain to make his fortune in Havana. His salesmanship prowess is so potent, he lands a job in Havana's most prestigious department store, El Encanto.

César Valdés is a don, a gangster, a mafioso. He 'owns' Havana and all the law
Sarah Peavy
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
I found the story to be gripping. The writing seemed juvenile at some points but I think that has more to do with the translation and less to to do with the Authors abilities. I would definitely recommend the story.
Henry J Vanwageningen
I thought I was going to read a good historical novel. It ended up being a dime store romance devoid of any substance. Great for 14 year old girls.
Jul 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a free book if “international” best sellers..... maybe it was better in Spanish but I doubt it... the story was ridiculous.. the characters were cutouts.. the writing pedestrian.... I feel like I must have read a different book from those who gave it such good reviews.. .. it wasn’t even a good love story..
Carl Wayne Beaty
Gave me a true view of the world my grandmother and her family lived in before fleeing the country in the late 50's. Beautifully written, and so very engaging.
Mary Ann
As usual, I find it difficult to review a translation as one may lose the connotations and nuances of the original language (unless, for me, it's French). The pre-Castro Havana is always an intriguing, cosmopolitan time and place full of energy and excitement as well as political corruption and horrendous class inequality; the author conveys this effectively. The plot is credible given the chaotic events of the time, and the protagonists are likeable if a little too "noble" and selfless, but the ...more
Beth deAcosta
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best ever 📚!!

Phenomenal.....from the first word till the last was the most emotional and deeply personal storyline I have ever read😪 It was beautifully written and soulful. And when by chance he came upon his granddaughter, Gloria's daughter and then the grand surprise to be reunited with the love of his lifetime.....OMG!!!! I had a Kleenex moment of serious sobs and sniffles lasting a good 20 minutes before I was able to finish the final few paragraphs.
Stephanie Loomis
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Sweet story of a long ago Cuba where music and color dominated the island. Improbable? Yes. But the characters are well developed as they live through love and loss in a tumultuous time.
Sharon Thérèse
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is no doubt that I connected to Patricio’s story because of his background. I was all ears when my father-in-law related stories of his grandfather fighting in the Cuban war at the end of the 19th century. When then the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939 and Germany invaded Poland, Spain had no time to recuperate. Also, I listened to harrowing tales of hunger and misery, the post-civil war taking its toll on not only most of the country, my husband’s family too. Just like Patricio; fathers, b ...more
Victoria Carney
I’m horrible at reading just one book at a time so this one jumped the line a bit. I am a major fan of diversifying the authors and subjects of the books in your library, so when kindle released nine international books for free I downloaded all of them! This is the fourth of them that I’ve read and I feel a bit conflicted about it! The timeline and setting were really interesting to me and of course I’m a sucker so I cried at the end- but I don’t actually think it was well written. Characters w ...more
Deb Carlberg
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2 Stars for sure! Beautiful (somewhat predictable) love story in Cuba during a tumultuous yet thrilling era. Truly enjoyable protagonist.
Tamara Niemi
This is a lush, sappy, improbable love story spanning over 50 years that I enjoyed reading a lot more than I expected.
Toya (the reading chemist)
Thank you so much Goodreads and Amazon publishing for the giveaway win!
May 04, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book and really enjoyed the first few chapters but it soon felt like I was reading a soap opera that would get more and more absurd with each passing chapter. It had so many cliches it became a little ridiculous. The only thing I enjoyed was learning about Cuba's history and what it was like in the time of the revolution.
May 11, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tried-to-read
I’ll admit it: I could not finish this book. The story was not for me, nor was the writing style. I wanted to warrior through it to see if it got better, but cannot waste my time.
Apr 22, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could not buy into this book for a second. Well, maybe for the first few chapters and then it just got stupid.
Here is where the book lost me. Gloria's husband is a homocidal, pedophile mafioso. However, very little in Gloria's or Patricio's behavior indicates that at all. So Cesar bludgeoned someone to death in the dressing room, but hey I'm gonna come over (P) and see you (G) in the middle of the night. And G is just going to say hey come on in and come up to my daughter's room and
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was just what I needed right now -- bluntly, a diversion from this miserable pandemic and its wretched shadow that seems to fall across everything. (I know it won't last forever, but that shadow is feeling rather long and indefinite at the moment.)

This book swept me away to another time and place for a day. . .the natural beauty of Cuba, its syncretistic culture, its heyday as a playground for the wealthy, its links to the mafia, its revolution and the broken promises of that revolution.

Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good romantic novel involving lost love and finding it again only to lose it during a tragedy. This story involves the mob and the powerful hold the leader has on everyone. It tells of an innocent young girl who is brought under his power and she cannot get away. Also the love she has for another man , so much so that she is willing to give up her life for him. The story is so emotional and yet exhilarating.
Of course there is a lot of history involved of the Cuban people and the crisis they ha
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An historical novel taking place in Havana, Cuba... This love story is cleverly intertwined into the flavor of the Cuban society as it changed over 5 decades beginning in the late 1940's.
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost stopped reading this book 2 times. The first time was bc the book started a little slow developing the characters. The second time was once the reader met Cesar Valdes, the villain in the book. He was the most evil character that I would never want to meet. There were several episodes that were pretty downright sickening bc of his actions.

Cesar Valdes was a leader of one of the mafia gangs in Havana, Cuba. His childhood seemed to be one of his reasons for his vile attitude towards any h
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This lovely book engaged me from the first page and carried me right through to the end. The storytelling is graceful, and took me to a place I've never been during times I vaguely noticed from afar. The narrator's voice was faultless, kindly, cheeky, generous. The story itself heartbreaking right up to the last few pages, because the two lovers were so star-crossed: the mainspring of so many great stories (and I am always glad that I was not called upon to live one such, but only to read them a ...more
Sep 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020, own
I don't think I'd ever read a novel set in Cuba before and during the Revolution before this one came into my hands. The settings and history were fascinating, and had the book been more focussed on the society and politics of the time, I'd have been absolutely enthralled. However, most of that was just background to a soap opera-esque, cliché-laden and predictable romance that failed to capture me. The characters were fairly flat, and the writing far from impressive - though I don't know whethe ...more
I wouldn’t put myself through it again, but I am glad I read it. It definitely made me want to travel to Cuba which was never on my list. I would love to have seen El Encanto in its day. The descriptions of the store were amazing. The characters were well developed. I listened to the Audible version so it was nice to hear the names and accents pronounced perfectly rather that how I would have in my head!
The main plot of the book though was hard to take. The love story was a bit over the top with
Yvette Cendes
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably a 4.5 but I rounded down. It’s a really well written portrait of life in Cuba beginning in 1947, and the characters are great with all sorts of fun drama.

I took off a half star because some of the plot points were forced/obvious just to keep the drama going, and because some of the astronomy mentioned became really darn realistic (not at a level that would annoy non astronomers, but it is my review!).
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Susana López Rubio es escritora y guionista. Cuenta con una amplia trayectoria profesional en el sector audiovisual. Ha participado en series como Policías: en el corazón de la calle, Hospital Central, La chica de ayer y Física o química, entre otras muchas. Es la responsable de la adaptación televisiva de la miniserie El tiempo entre costuras y ha sido la creadora de Acacias 38. En cine, ha sido ...more

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