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  • Location: Havana. Cuba, London

Island of Secrets

Island of Secrets

Why a Booktrail?

1957: Imagine being transported to Cuba to paint guests at glam parties?

  • Genre: Historical

What you need to know before your trail

1957: Iris Bailey is bored to death of working in the typing pool and living with her parents in Hemel Hempstead. A gifted portraitist with a talent for sketching guests at parties, she dreams of becoming an artist. So she can’t believe her luck when wealthy socialite Nell Hardman invites her to Havana to draw at the glittering wedding of her Hollywood director father.

Iris is thrilled to escape to a faraway city by the sea. But she soon realizes that the cocktails, tropical scents and azure skies mask a darker reality. As Cuba teeters on the edge of revolution and Iris’s heart melts for troubled photographer Joe, she discovers that someone in the charismatic Hardman family is hiding a terrible secret. Can she uncover the ugly truth behind the glamour and the dazzle before all their lives are torn apart?

Travel Guide

Travel to Cuba, the island of secrets with Rachel Rhys

Havana, Cuba

“The city begins almost as the  airport ends, the roads wider than back home, teeming with giant cars like the one she is in right now but in bright jewel colours – blue and read and green and orange. Here are gleaming, palmshaded pathways in between the lanes of traffic, along which smartly dressed women push prams out of the harsh glare of the sun, and a railway running parallel to the road. There are grand stone buildings with flights of steps leading to pillared porticos and in the distance tall buildings and cranes strung across the horizon.”

..But mostly her impression of of a smart metropolis with its own heartbeat, worlds away from the one she has left behind.”

The environment around her

Alone, Iris becomes acutely aware all sorts of new noises – the raucous birds in the branches of the strange tree, a crackling sound – it must surely be an insect – coming from a ow busy, a wireless playing music from an open window high above, some sort of warbling love song.”

Booktrailer Review

Immersive and fascinating to be in Cuba!

Read The BookTrail’s bookreview of Island of Secrets here

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Island of Secrets

Destination/location: Havana, Cuba, London    Author/guide: Rachel Rhys     Departure Time:1957

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