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Book Review | Cinnamon and Gunpowder

I picked this novel up on a whim and I've been talking about it to anyone who will listen, but Cinnamon and Gunpowder is so good! I've included a link to an NPR article that summarizes the book better than I can, but there are a few things I want to point out that make it a fun historical fiction novel:

The protagonist and anti hero are both middle aged -- the protagonist is a widow, and the anti hero is a single mom.

The imprisoned chef, has been so blue balled since his wife passed away that he basically takes all of his sexual frustration out on food.

Mabbot is a prostitute turned pirate captain, which is a refreshing way of having a traditionally powerless woman become incredibly powerful and respected.

There are several pirates on the crew who are people of color, and there is a gay couple on the crew (which is actually historically accurate!).

Though Cinnamon and Gunpowder is historical fiction, it is set during the Opium War -- a less popular setting for pirate stories compared to the Caribbean, but it is a much more interesting setting for many reasons that the novel explores. The novel discusses a lot about the corruption of the British tea trade, and the role of Britain's Imperialism in world trade and history.

The food described in the novel sounds absolutely amazing!! From the coconut water bread to the ginger beer to the eel ravioli, so many of the foods sound absolutely delicious. Wedge's meals make me wish there was a pirate menu for Blue Apron

If you like Pirates of the Caribbean, Treasure Island, or other pirate stories, I really hope you give this a try!


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