Historical Fiction

Book Review – The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

Book Details
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: None
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: 6/16/2020
Pages: 320

Goodreads Synopsis –

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 the economic depression gripping the nation. But one person’s paradise can be another’s prison, and Key West-native Helen Berner yearns to escape.

The Cuban Revolution of 1933 left Mirta Perez’s family in a precarious position. After an arranged wedding in Havana, Mirta arrives in the Keys on her honeymoon. While she can’t deny the growing attraction to the stranger she’s married, her new husband’s illicit business interests may threaten not only her relationship, but her life.

Elizabeth Preston’s trip from New York to Key West is a chance to save her once-wealthy family from their troubles as a result of the Wall Street crash. Her quest takes her to the camps occupied by veterans of the Great War and pairs her with an unlikely ally on a treacherous hunt of his own.

Over the course of the holiday weekend, the women’s paths cross unexpectedly, and the danger swirling around them is matched only by the terrifying force of the deadly storm threatening the Keys.

My Opinion –

This book is about three women all at a crossroads in their lives. Helen is married, pregnant, and a very unhappy woman living with a very abusive husband. Mirta is newly married and has just arrived in America with her new husband, who she barely knows. Lastly there is Elizabeth, she is a flirty young woman who has traveled from New York to Key West in search of the man in the letter. With a hurricane on its way to Key West, things are undoubtedly going to get shaken up and all three of these women’s lives will never be the same!

I found the first half of this book to be a bit slow. There was a lot of character development and I wasn’t connecting with these three women as much as I hoped I would. About halfway through things really picked up with the hurricane approaching. It was intense and addicting! Unfortunately once the hurricane died down so did the story.

It all wrapped up quite nicely and it was interesting to see how all these women’s lives were interwoven in the end. This is one of my favorite genres and my second book by Chanel Cleeton. While this story did not knock my socks off I did enjoy it and look forward to her next book!

*Thank you Berkley for the opportunity to read and review this book via NetGalley for my honest opinion.

Other Chanel Cleeton books I have reviewed:

Next Year in Havana

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Thank you for visiting and happy reading!

14 thoughts on “Book Review – The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

  1. Well…..I just finished it and liked it quite a bit! It’s interesting how one’s expectations affect the reading experience…..I went into it dreading the slow part and was pleasantly surprised that the character development didn’t feel slow to me! I enjoyed the three characters. The hurricane part was intense and it all wrapped up nicely! I actually read it in one day! On the other hand I went into Vanishing Half with the highest expectations and ended with some conflicted feelings!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So much depends on our mindset, expectation, and what we’ve just finished reading! I had come off a heavy read and I’m sure that I was looking for escapist and it affected my mood.


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