Cinnamon Girl

We rated this book:

Cinnamon Girl by Trish MacEnulty was a delight to read. Told from the perspective of Eli Burnes, a 15-year-old girl living in Georgia, the reader is immersed in the turbidity of the 1970’s. After being whisked away from life with her alcoholic mother, Eli is raised by Mattie, a world-class opera singer, and her housekeeper, Miz Johnny. Both the center of Eli’s world, she loves growing up participating in rehearsals, performances, and the extravagance of the stage. With Mattie’s lively personality and Miz Johnny’s discipline, Eli is brought up with love, much more than her hippie father, Billy, ever seems to give her. Alongside these figures, Eli has Gretchen, her best friend from Germany, and Gretchen’s older brother Wolfgang, Eli’s first “love.” Taken away by his philosophies, shaggy hair, and mystery, Eli would practically do anything for him – including running away. After a series of unfortunate events at home, Eli feels she is a burden on her family and wants to leave. Conveniently, at this same period, Wolfgang happens to be fleeing to Canada, after receiving his draft for the Vietnam War. Not fully understanding what this means, Eli just knows that she doesn’t want her crush killed, so she runs away with him to New York City to flee the draft. She soon is in the loop that he has connections with SDS, Students for a Democratic Society who have gone underground amidst the protests and riots across the country. They are going to try and help Wolfgang, along with herself flee to Canada. However, little do the pair know, that much more adventure awaits them!

Overall, I thought this historical fiction was excellent. MacEnulty did a fantastic job writing her characters; I felt immersed in the scenes with Eli as she experienced everything from riots and police brutality to concerts and LSD. I also really liked how the story was told from the perspective of a younger girl; in this way, the reader is able to witness many key events of adolescence and life in the 70’s. Finally, I really enjoyed how MacEnulty wrote Billy’s character. A groovy activist father, Billy lets his daughter do a lot more than the average dad, encouraging her to participate in political events and even do drugs. He takes a controversial approach to parenting, which I thought helped Eli’s character grow and develop throughout the story.

Overall, I would recommend this book to teenage and adult women readers who like historical fiction and adventure!

Reviewed By:

Author Trish MacEnulty
Star Count 5/5
Format eBook
Page Count 196 pages
Publisher Livingston Press
Publish Date 15-Sep-2023
ISBN 9781604893564 Buy this Book
Issue October 2023
Category Historical Fiction