“How did Melanie Bowden Simón do it? She’s given the free world a book about everything: love, grief, food, travel, history, Communist regimes. This book is so good it should be illegal. Mark my words: The coming revolution in great writing about Cuba begins with La Americana.

Harrison Scott Key, author of The World’s Largest Man

Publishers Weekly

“Bowden Simón’s travels and struggles are beautifully rendered in this evocative valentine to her mother, Cuba, and the power of love in the unlikeliest of places to heal a broken heart and spirit.” 


Denise DiFulco, writer/former senior editor, Latina Magazine

“Melanie Bowden Simon captures Cuba’s enduring allure in her debut memoir. Through a fog of grief and the dark shadows of Cuba’s Communist society, she uncovers the indomitable soul of the island and finds a balm for her own—one that brings love, healing and release.”

Neil Young, author; host of the Past Present podcast

“Exhilarating, stunning, and deeply moving, La Americana grabs you from its first page and pulls you through its harrowing and heartwarming story of finding love under Cuba’s communist watch. A story of loss, love, and longing, La Americana will break your heart and stitch it back together again with its honesty, hope, and humor.”