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The Last Train to Key West

(The Cuba Saga #3)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  16,322 ratings  ·  1,986 reviews
In 1935 three women are forever changed when one of the most powerful hurricanes in history barrels toward the Florida Keys in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton's captivating new novel.

Everyone journeys to Key West searching for something. For the tourists traveling on Henry Flagler's legendary Overseas Railroad, Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to forget
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 16th 2020 by Berkley
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Penny From Chanel Cleeton website: "The Last Train to Key West is set in 1935, over two decades before the events in Next Year in Havana and When We Left Cu…moreFrom Chanel Cleeton website: "The Last Train to Key West is set in 1935, over two decades before the events in Next Year in Havana and When We Left Cuba. It can be read as a standalone, so if you haven’t picked up my first two books, it’s a great place to jump in. The novel features three heroines with two recognizable last names. One of the heroines is related to Nick Preston from When We Left Cuba and another one of the heroines is a Perez and is Beatriz and Elisa’s aunt (their father’s sister). I’m loving writing about the Perez family and for my next few books we’ll go back in history a bit and meet some of the Perez ancestors."(less)

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 ·  16,322 ratings  ·  1,986 reviews

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Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

After thinking about this novel for a few days I am going to bump my rating up to a 5. When I am still feeling something for the characters and story after 3 days it’s a story that I can highly recommend!

This novel was a fantastic escape read and just what I wanted to read right now. I had read “Next Year In Havana” by Chanel Cleeton and really liked it, that setting was mainly in Cuba.

We have three main protagonists in this novel. The novel takes place in Key West and the ot
For our first trip away alone after becoming parents, my husband and I drove to Key West (in a sports car!) What can I say, we were younger then, ha. If I close my eyes I can still see the stunning beauty as we traveled the Overseas Highway. I can transport myself back in time and smell the frangipani and taste the key lime pie. It wasn’t the fanciest vacation we’ve ever been on, but I remember every detail of that trip. We have hesitated to go back for fear it couldn’t possibly live up to our m ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Chanel Cleeton has this way of writing characters I grow to care about, and I especially love how she writes strong women.

The three women meet unexpectedly on a holiday weekend, and not only are they each in precarious positions, there’s also a storm bearing down on the Florida Keys.

As someone who has experienced several hurricanes and tropical storms, I found Cleeton was on point with what it feels like through every sense to be on the ground during these storms, and the historical time period
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Having read and really the first two books of Ms Cleeton, I was definitely looking forward to her new book. In her previous stories, she was able to mix a wonderful story line with just the right combination of the historical, making for me, a worthwhile and enticing read. When Jan and I decided on this book, I was anxious to dig in.

For the positives, the author did present us with some historical facts, the hurricane of 1935 bringing huge devastation to the area, plus the plight of the soldiers
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
The Last Train to Key West makes for a gripping summer read that explores survival, love and courage.

The Last Train to Key West felt like I was watching a classic action-packed movie in my head with a stunning location, danger that kept me at the end of my seat, a romance that softens my heart and enough suspense to keep wanting to know what happens with the characters.

The story revolves around a historical tragedy that was used more of a backdrop to the storyline. The story follows three diffe
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Last Train to Key West begins just days before the Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. The country is still feeling the impact of the Great Depression. The three main characters' paths first cross in Key West at Ruby’s Diner where we meet the young women whose lives will be changed by the horrific disaster about to occur.

Helen Berner is nine months pregnant and is still working at Ruby’s as a waitress. She is trapped in a marriage with an abusive husband. Mirta Perez has married a virtual str
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
The Last Train to Key West is a wonderful historical fiction split into 3 perspectives as one of the worst hurricanes in American history is about to touch down. We have:
• Helen, a waitress at a diner who is just about to give birth and is dreaming of leaving her abusive husband
• Eliza who travels down to the Keys to find someone from her past after her family is destroyed by the Great Depression
• Mirta, a Cuban woman who just recently married a man whom she barely knows and has a darker life th
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

The only things I’ve ever heard John say in addition to his name pertain to his order, as though God only gave him a certain number of words to use each day, and he’d already expended his quota before he sat in my section.

I envy men the freedom to choose their own spouses. They snap us up as though they are purchasing a piece of fruit at the market, and we are expected to have no say in the matter.

The running of this world is left to men, and quite frankly, I’m not impressed with
I loved this book!

A combination of mystery, historical, and three women’s stories tie this together with one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in 1935.

There’s even a killing and a dead body involved!

The three women; Helen, Mirta, and Elizabeth are all resilient and resourceful with their perspectives told in alternating chapters but intersecting. I liked reading about each and was totally invested in finding out how everything fit together. All were likable and easy to pull for.

The resear
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2020, arc
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Last Train to Key West was such a quick read which really surprised me because it's a historical fiction and those usually take me quite a while to get through, but I only needed a bit more than a day to read this one.

I absolutely loved Chanel Cleeton's writing style and this was just such an enjoyable read. I also loved how the novel was written from the perspectives of three different women who for some reason or
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, edelweiss-2020
*Happy pub day to Chanel Cleeton!

4.5 hurricane stars

I have become a big fan of Chanel Cleeton’s historical fiction books, especially her two recent ones with Cuban roots. This one is a bit different, set in the Florida Keys, but one of the female characters is from Cuba.

There are three very different women whose lives all converge in the Keys in 1935 over Labor Day weekend just before and during a powerful hurricane. The book alternates with chapters from each character and each section is long
4.5 stars

Chanel Cleeton is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I read her two previous historical fiction novels ( Next Year in Havana and When We Left Cuba ) both of which revolved around the Perez family from Cuba, and absolutely loved both books! After finding out last year that Cleeton would have a new book out some time in 2020, I knew that I definitely had to get my hands on a copy as soon as it became available. Her newest work, The Last Train to Key West , is a bit of a
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library, 2020
This book definitely wants me to pick up more from this author. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this story.
Apr 21, 2020 marked it as to-read
Jesus, I can't wait for this book to be in my possession. ...more
Joan Happel
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cleeton sets her new historical fiction novel against the backdrop of Key West during the Labor Day weekend of 1935 when the Keys were hit with a category 5 hurricane. Craftily weaving the stories of three young woman, this is an intricately plotted and well-written book. Elizabeth Preston is from a family of stockbrokers who have lost their fortune in the crash. She is escaping from her fiancé Frank, a brutal gangster, and is searching for the man whose letter she carries. Helen Berner is a wai ...more
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall: Suspenseful, romantic, thrilling historical novel featuring three interesting women whose stories are all tied together by a hurricane. Fast paced, engaging plot, likable characters, easy to get lost in this one. 4/5

Summary: This novel is focused on the 1935 Labor Day hurricane that hit the Florida keys. This storm was the strongest recorded hurricane to hit the United States. It destroyed property throughout all of the Keys, taking more than 400 lives, both civilians and the World War
Jul 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
It’s no secret that I’m not the greatest lover of women’s fiction, but taking into consideration Chanel Cleeton penned one of my all-time favourite series,Wild Aces, after reading the blurb for Last Train to Key West, the time felt right.

description The storm is coming.”

Centralised around the 1935 Labor Day hurricane which slammed into Florida Keys amidst the Great Depression, Cleeton brings us the story of three very different women whose paths cross, totally unaware that what’s coming will change th
Natasha Lester
The Last Train to Key West takes you on an incredible and emotion-charged journey through the lives of three women facing a catastrophic hurricane that changes them forever – and shows them how courageous they really are. This book has everything a reader could want: not one but three incredible love stories, page-turning drama and rich historical detail. I finished the last chapter with a sigh of satisfaction that only a great book can bring about
Susan Z
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely story. Such a simple word, lovely is, but perfect for this book.

It's the 1930s in Key West. At the center of the story are 3 women:

Elizabeth, a New York socialite who has seen better days since the depression which has left her with nearly nothing. She comes to Key West on a mission to improve her position, locate a mysterious person who will restore her wealth.

Mirta, a Cuban woman who is on her honeymoon following an arranged marriage to Anthony, an American business man who seem
Camille Maio
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Last Train to Key West is another exceptional story by Cleeton, who has quickly become a favorite among historical fiction fans. When the lives of three women from vastly different circumstances intersect even as the winds from the ocean threaten devastation, secrets are exposed, love is questioned and new life emerges even as others are in danger. Cleeton has fashioned a story that is gripping, romantic, and packed with drama. Readers will be up late eager to find out what happens!
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
This author never ceases to blow me away with her amazing stories. Stories that transport you back in tome to another world, another place and another time. When women were still viewed as less than a world very much in turmoil.

Her endearing characters are so real, so raw, and so darn relatable. You want to know them, you feel like they are friends and most of all, you end up caring greatly for them by the time their story is over.

This time her story takes us to Key West in the lives of three v
SO GOOD!! This book takes place in Key West, and the other Keys during the the Great Depression, 1935!  Told in 3 points of view told by 3 different women, Helen, Mirta, and Elizabeth! Their lives are changed forever when they experience the most devastating hurricane in US history over Labor Day weekend!  This was romance and history rolled up in a nice package. The descriptions of this hurricane in the Keys were so vivid in detail. I had never knew about this hurricane. I loved  learning this ...more
The Last Train to Key West is an beautiful emotionally charged story of three women's lives that intersect in the Florida Keys in 1935. Romance, mystery, gangsters, and an abusive marriage all swirled together as a hurricane barrels toward the Keys. This book is unputdownable! ...more
Connie G
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
The lives of three women intersect as a deadly hurricane heads toward Key West, Florida in 1935. Mitza Perez's family had great losses during the Cuban Revolution of 1933, and she was on her honeymoon after an arranged marriage to a wealthy man. Times are hard for the families of Americans Helen Berner and Elizabeth Preston during the Great Depression.

As the powerful hurricane approaches the Keys, pregnant Helen has an opportunity to leave her abusive husband. Elizabeth is searching for a World
Carol (Reading Ladies)
4.5 Stars

One holiday weekend + three women in danger + a hurricane ...

Thanks, #netgalley #berkleypub for a complimentary e ARC of #thelasttraintokeywest for review. All opinions in this review are my own. Pub Date: June 16, 2020.

Key West is a popular destination for tourists. In the 1930s, it is also an opportunity to forget the economic depression. The three women in The Last Train to Key West have very different reasons for finding themselves in Key West on Labor Day Weekend, 1935: Elizabeth t
Tanya Desjardins
The Last Train to Key West has an incredibly fascinating premise. The book follows the lives of 3 different women chasing their own versions of freedom, in a world where "men behave as though the world is theirs to order and control". Nothing could be further from the truth. The 1935 Labor Day hurricane, causes catastrophic damage to the Florida Keys, ultimately upending and changing the course of all 3 women's lives. In addition, the book briefly touches upon Cuban politics, the New York mob, a ...more
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story follows three women in the Florida Keys: Elizabeth, running from a forced marriage in New York; Mirta, Cuban, and just married to a man she barely knows, and Helen, pregnant, with an abusive husband. Their lives intersect in a surprising way during a devastating 1935 hurricane, which was one of the most powerful ever to hit the US. This novel is page turning historical fiction at its best: intriguing women dealing with situations they did not choose, and an intense storm that changed e ...more
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great novel filled with some amazing characters, both male and female. Some parts were hard to hear and very emotional, but overall I couldn't stop listening to it.
I was engrossed in listening to this audiobook. I just had to find out what would happen.
The pace was great, and the ending is very satisfying.
If you loved character-driven books and/or historical I highly recommend this author and this book.

CW; domestic abuse, loss of a loved one, PTSD

4,5 stars
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed for Wit and Sin
Chanel Cleeton blends beauty and tragedy with The Last Train to Key West . I fell in love with Ms. Cleeton’s writing a few years ago but there’s something gorgeously romantic about her historical fiction writing in particular that never fails to captivate me.

The Last Train to Key West is the journey of three very different women set against the backdrop of one of the most powerful hurricanes in history. Elizabeth Preston is a former society girl who has been ab
Evie Dunmore
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really looking forward to this one!

Merged review:

It's 1935, and amid the Great Depression three very different women are headed to Matecumbe Key for different reasons. Mirta just got married to a stranger on behest of her father, Elizabeth is running from her struggles in New York, and Helen is desperately looking for a better life now that she is about to have a baby. Little do they know that their destinies are already entwined, or that one of the worst hurricanes in history is about to hit...
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Chanel Cleeton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Next Year in Havana, When We Left Cuba, The Last Train to Key West, and The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba.

Originally from Florida, Chanel grew up on stories of her family's exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her y

Other books in the series

The Cuba Saga (4 books)
  • Next Year in Havana (The Cuba Saga, #1)
  • When We Left Cuba (The Cuba Saga, #2)
  • The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba (The Cuba Saga, #4)

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