by Trish MacEnulty
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Pub Date 15 Sep 2023 | Archive Date Not set
When her beloved step-grandmother, a semi-retired opera singer, dies of cancer in 1970, 15-year-old Eli Burnes runs away with a draft-dodger, thinking she’s on the road to adventure and romance. What she finds instead is a world of underground Weathermen, Black Power revolutionaries, snitches and shoot-first police. Eventually Eli is rescued by her father, who turns out both more responsible and more revolutionary than she’d imagined. But when he gets in trouble with the law, she finds herself on the road again, searching for the allies who will help her learn how to save herself.
Review copies. Ads in Rain Taxi. AWP.
Review copies. Ads in Rain Taxi. AWP.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 13 members
Cinnamon Girl tells the story of Eli Burnes, a teen girl growing up in the turbulent 1970s following the passing of the eccentric step-grandmother who raised her. Reunited with her hippie, rock DJ father, Eli is thrust into an unfamiliar world colored by protest, racial conflict, political unrest, and the music that defined the counterculture era. This read initially caught my eye because of the political aspects and references to groups like the Weather Underground. Given how often this time period is portrayed in movies, TV, and literature, I will admit, it’s kind of hard for this novel to stand out. That said, Eli was a relatable narrator with some great side characters, and I was most invested in her evolving relationship with her super interesting father. Give this one a whirl if you’re a fan of throwbacks to the 70s, the protest movements of that time, and endless rock references! Thank you to NetGalley and Livingston Press for allowing me to read this ARC!
This was really good! It was a mix of showing a window on a specific time period and showing one girl growing up.
This was such a great historical fiction novel, it had everything that I was looking for based on the description. I enjoyed getting to know Eli and go on this adventure with her. Trish MacEnulty creates a unique concept overall and I enjoyed how real everything was. I was invested in what was happening and glad I got to read this.
Cinnamon Girl is a coming of age story in the 1970’s. Eli Burnes is just 15 when her step grandmother, the only consistent parental figure she had, dies of cancer. This loss sets off a cascade of events where she becomes involved in the “Weatherman Underground, Black Power revolutionaries, snitches and shoot first police.”
This a great historical fiction read with some amazing insight into the hippie culture, racial tensions, and the revolutionary organizations at the time. This was an easy & fast read, exploring a number of themes in Eli’s life between age 15-16. But given all she went through, I would have like a little bit more character development and insight. She appears to make large, life changing decisions without much thought (which is typical of that age), but seems inconsistent with her relative naïveté. Overall a great historical read that grounds you on the Vietnam War era when the world was in upheaval.
I really enjoyed this story of a young teenage girl growing up in the early 70s. I was afraid there would be more politics and war involved in the story, but it was just the right amount to paint a picture of life in the US during that time period. I quickly became attached to Eli and wanted to see life work out happily for her. My reaction to the ending was “that’s it?” I like epilogues that give you a glimpse of the characters’ futures and felt this book could have benefited from that. But maybe this ending was perfect for this book and I’m being greedy. I recommend this book and would read more by this author.
This character driven story takes us through the life of Eli growing up into her teenage years in the 60's / 70's. We see Eli get thrown into some very difficult situations for her young age time after time and she handles it with such grace. I really loved her character and enjoyed getting to see how she evolved but still kept her innocent and sweet essence through it all.
This book was so entertaining for me to read, had me hooked from the beginning. All of the characters had a particular charm to them (even if for some you got to find that charm towards the end of the book.).
Some of the main subjects of the book is the Vietnam War and the political stance of the war, the recent end to slavery, struggle of segregation, KKK, white supremacy, patriarchy, hippies, and drugs.
Oh, I really loved this! I suppose if you remember this era and lived through it, you could say that you're going to like it, but that isn't always true of books set in the 1970s. This one had such a great sense of place and time that it was like being there all over again. It captured the feelings both of the time and of the characters. I can't wait to see how younger people read this and enjoy this and realize some of the spirit of the seventies. The minute I saw the title, I knew this book was for me.
Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. I absolutely loved it.
This book set in the 1970s had an interesting premise. A girl who is 1/2 Spanish and 1/2 Southern White is growing up in the 1968-1972 era. I wanted to like this book because of this premise however little things kept on bothering me about the book. The book was an enjoyable read until Mattie dies, and they it became a labor to read. Eli skipping town with Wolfgang was stressful to me since I've know teenagers who have attempted things like this and ended up in foster care. I'm glad the story ended where it did with Eli at her mother's doorstep, although all things considered, I would have liked to see how Eli and her super liberal politics meshed with the super conservative world of Miami in the early 1970s. Somehow I don't think she would have stayed at her mother's for too long.
The stress of wanting to see if Eli turns out ok made it 5 star level, but the glorification of drug use especially by adults, and the completely onesidedness of the politics of the era brings the book down to a 3 for me.
3 out of 5 stars
Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.
Cinnamon Girl tells the story of a 15 year old girl in 1971 whose life is upended when her caretaker passes away. Rather than going to live with her father she takes off with an older boy without much of a plan. Eli experiences the life of a young hippie and all of the dangers that come with it. When she eventually ends up with family again we see the toll that being an irresponsible parent takes on a family.
I feel like this book is explaining how we went from the peace and love generations to the world of the 1980s. It’s bleak at best.
This is a very well written book but I can’t say I enjoyed reading it. I would say to anyone looking to read it, go in knowing that it is not a light story by any means.