Last Dance in Havana – Rosanna Ley
On Saturday 1st October 2016, I had the immense pleasure of chatting with bestselling author, Rosanna Ley. Originally, I was planning on attending the event as a member of the audience, but when I popped into my local library to add my name to the list of those going, I was asked by our lovely librarian if I would like to pose Rosanna a few questions on the day. I’m rarely short of questions and having read and thoroughly enjoyed Rosanna’s latest novel, Last Dance in Havana, I was delighted to have this opportunity to chat and learn more about Rosanna’s writing processes, including research, and how she captures the sights, sounds and feel of the settings used in the novel.
I have not visited Cuba in real life, but nearly two weeks on from reading the novel, I can still picture the scenes set by Rosanna – I was transported there. I could feel the sultry heat, hear the music, and experience the everyday lives of the town’s residents. Members of the audience who have been to Havana agreed that Rosanna has portrayed the town, the people and the atmosphere perfectly.
The conversation went on to explore the importance of research, particularly when referencing historical events, the inspiration behind Rosanna’s novels, and the themes within Last Dance in Havana.
With a reading from Rosanna and an introduction to the next book due 2017, which sounds wonderful, the afternoon drew to a close.
My job was made easy. Rosanna is a joy to interview and the fab audience was fully involved and asking their own questions.
If you get the chance to attend one of Rosanna’s events, I urge you to do so. The same goes for reading Rosanna’s books. I was so engaged with Last Dance in Havana, I read it in double-quick time, shutting myself away in our conservatory, telling my family it was work.
I love my work.
Cuba, 1958. Elisa is only sixteen years old when she meets Duardo and she knows he’s the love of her life from the moment they first dance the rumba together in downtown Havana. But Duardo is a rebel, determined to fight in Castro’s army, and Elisa is forced to leave behind her homeland and rebuild her life in distant England. But how can she stop longing for the warmth of Havana, when the music of the rumba still calls to her?
England, 2012. Grace has a troubled relationship with her father, whom she blames for her beloved mother’s untimely death. And this year more than ever she could do with a shoulderto cry on – Grace’s career is in flux, she isn’t sure she wants the baby her husband is so desperate to have and, worst of all, she’s begun to develop feelings for their best friend Theo. Theo is a Cuban born magician but even he can’t make Grace’s problems disappear. Is the passion Grace feels for Theo enough to risk her family’s happiness?
From bestselling author Rosanna Ley comes an exotic tale of love, family and friendship set between England and Cuba.