Review: The Last Train to Key West (Chanel Cleeton)

The Last Train to Key West
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

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 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.


The Last Train to Key West was one of my most anticipated books of 2020, and it didn’t let me down. This book was absolutely fabulous. The writing was everything I’ve come to expect from Chanel Cleeton and the story… Talk about the perfect mixture of heartbreaking and heartwarming. The journey these three women went on emotionally and physically showed just how strong and courageous they were. That was without the horrible hurricane that went on around them. That just added another fascinating aspect to the story. I had no previous knowledge of the hurricane that hit the area in 1935 or of the railroad that used to go to Key West. I felt like I learned so much by reading this book, and I loved that.

The Last Train to Key West is one of my favorite books I’ve read so far this year. If you enjoyed Next Year in Havana or When We Left Cuba, you’re guaranteed to love this book. If you haven’t read either of those two, you should and you should read this one as well. So. Dang. Good.

17 thoughts on “Review: The Last Train to Key West (Chanel Cleeton)”

    1. Yes, it is! This series is just so good in general. I hope she keeps writing books like this because I love them!

  1. This sounds so good! Definitely adding it to my TBR. I love when I can learn about historical things in books with a love story wrapped up in it.

    1. Thanks! You need to read her books Next Year in Havana and When We Left Cuba. I think you would love them!

  2. I have loved how many new things I am learning from this series. Cleeton has creating a family, who are truly compelling, while working actual history into the story. I am fan of the Cuba books, and am happy to hear book 3 was a solid addition to the series.

    1. Yes, she really has created something special. This next one is the girls’ aunt — the dad’s sister. There’s also 2 other characters. It was the same, but different. I liked that.

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