“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.” 


Sarah McCammon, NPR

“In her timely memoir, Melanie Bowden Simón gives us an intimate glimpse of a place—and a woman—on the cusp of dramatic change. La Americana is a romance, an adventure tale, and a raw depiction of loss that transcends place and time. The fact that this story is set in Cuba, though, makes for a fascinating and important read at this pivotal moment in U.S.-Cuba relations.”

Neil J. Young, author; Huffington Post Columnist

“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.”