Fleeing the chaos of World War I and the Soviet Revolution, practical, sensible Pearl Kahn and her lovestruck, impulsive younger sibling Frieda hope to reach America. But when discriminatory new immigration laws bar their entry, the young women sail instead to Havana, Cuba, convinced that there they will find a way to overcome this setback.
Life in big-city Prohibition-era Havana is overwhelming, like nothing Pearl and Frieda could have imagined in the rural shtetl where they grew up. As the sisters adjust to their new surroundings, Frieda pursues the not-so-dreamy man of her dreams while Pearl’s life opens up unexpectedly, offering her a taste of freedom, a heady romance, and an opportunity to build a future on her own terms. However, to do so, she must confront her past and the shame she has long carried.
A heartbreaking, epic family story, Hotel Cuba explores the profound courage of two women displaced from their home who strive to create a new future in an enticing and dangerous world far different from anything they have ever known.