Book Review: My Name is Cinnamon by Vikas Prakash Joshi

Review by Kiran Adharapuram

Book Title: My Name Is Cinnamon
Author: Vikas Prakash Joshi
Publisher: Hay House Publishers India

About Book
My Name is Cinnamon by Vikas Prakash Joshiis both a captivating chronicle and an endeavor of remarkable depth and ambition, it provides a richly textured narrative of a boy trying to find his roots and place in the world. On each part of his journey, he encounters new people, new cuisines, and new adventures as he learns a lot about himself and the world around him.

While being a light-hearted and heart-warming read, the book also covers some difficult themes that are rarely explored in children’s and young adult literature. It is a deeply moving testament to the unceasing desire to know oneself, the unrelenting pull of familial bonds, and the power of hope, sacrifice, and love.

My Name Is Cinnamon by Vikas Prakash Joshi Book Cover
My Name Is Cinnamon by Vikas Prakash Joshi Book Cover

With his perceptive observations, vivid descriptions, and authentic voice, the author, Vikas Prakash Joshi, weaves an immersive plot with fully realized environments and characters that are sure to stay with you for a long time. Above all, My Name Is Cinnamon is about finding your own people and accepting who you are.

About Author
Vikas Prakash Joshi is a writer by nature and nurture and not by compulsion, ambition, or conscious choice. His writing career started at the early age of eleven and since then, he has won numerous awards and achieved notable distinctions. He has written for leading Indian publications like The Caravan, Hindustan Times, The Wire, The Hindu, DNA, and Sakal Times. His essays, articles, and short stories have been translated and published in twenty-nine languages, both Indian and foreign, and in twenty-two countries.

Book Review
This book is one of the feel-good books that I read this year. Though this is a fictional work of the author, I could sense a tinge of true events and fabulous imaginary ability throughout the narration. I am not hesitant to call this a MEMOIR of protagonist Cinnamon Paranjape, a young and energetic lad, and his journey to meet his REAL Parents while he stays with his adopted parents. The book opens with a Football episode on a shiny morning in one of the renounced grounds in Pune. Every chapter was narrated from the “third person” view and can be easily relatable by the readers. Every detail author presented from Cinnamon’s viewpoint is commendable and truly appealing. As a young chap, we all have uncountable Cinnamon episodes in our respective lives.

The author showed his extreme proficiency by minuscule detailing of the life aspects of Cinnamon and didn’t leave his mark on the emotions, be it the character’s portrayal, Wit, humor, insecurities, love, affection, sentiments, culture, and amiability. While I am reading through this book, I got to know the famous eateries (Vada-Pav, Chum-Chum, Rosogolla) which Cinnamon explored and helped me to have a virtual mouth-watering feast.

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Episodes like Cycle refusal on his birthday and other emotions touched my soul which adds a denial dose for an imperfect childhood that intrigues me to meet his actual parents in Nandurbar.

Did he meet his biological parents “Aditi Gavit” and “Vilas Gavit”?
What were the emotions he underwent during his biological parent meetup?
Did he go back to his adoptive parents?

Unlike the traditional Indian families, Cinnamon was aware of his adoption and his biological parents which I felt bit unusual in the entire story plot, yet again justified. I am in love with the journey episode of Cinnamon to Ratnapur and the people he meets on this travel.

Overall if you wish to be part of “Roshan Rishikesh Paranjape aka Cinnamon” and his expedition to meet his biological parents with a classy aroma of the cuisines of Pune, Kolkata, and Nandurbar, you need to pick this up right away.

Special mentions to “Niloufer Wadia” and her noteworthy illustrations in every chapter of the book which give a better interpretation of the respective plot and uplift the mood of detailed plot intrigue and lovely book cover is a further additive. I take this opportunity to congratulate Vikas Prakash Joshi, the author who recently won the prestigious “A3 Foundation Literary Award 2022-23”

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