A new historical novel from Serena Burdick, the author of THE GIRLS WITH NO NAMES, based on the true story of Estelita Rodriguez, a Cuban-born Hollywood actress and singer, as her daughter Nina traces her mother's life from Cuba to Hollywood to understand her mysterious death, think NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA meets THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO.
Cuba, 1936. The Cuban Revolution took everything from Estelita Rodriguez’s family who had run a sugar plantation. But a new world opens to Estelita when she begins singing in Havana night clubs as a young girl. Wildly talented from a young age, she travels with her mother to America when she’s just fifteen to sing at the Copa Cabana. There she meets a handsome performer, Chu Chu Martinez, who she quickly marries and has a child with. But when Chu Chu forbids her from performing, she takes her daughter Nina and escapes to Hollywood, becoming one of the most sought-after Hispanic actresses. Big Sur, 1966, Nina Rodriquez grew up enamored by her mother’s beauty and talent. Now, as a young woman, she’s still reeling from her mother’s untimely death at 37. The coroner said she died from influenza, but Estelita’s last words to Nina made her think she was poisoned. To understand what truly happened, she traces her mother’s life—and secrets—back from her childhood in Havana, to her young marriage in Mexico City, and finally her life in Hollywood.
FIND ME IN HAVANA tells the entwined stories of Estelita and her daughter Nina, each woman narrating moments from their lives, piecing together the dramatic events and their entangled feelings of love, guilt, tenderness, and deep understanding that can only come from a mother-daughter relationship. Based on the true events of Estelita Rodriguez’s life, as described to Serena Burdick by the real Nina Rodriguez, FIND ME IN HAVANA is an unforgettable portrait of life caught between Cuba and Hollywood, and a captivating story of sacrifice, courage, ambition, and motherly love.