Book Spotlight: My Fine Fellow by Jennieke Cohen

Welcome to book spotlight where instead of giving you another book review, I’m just going to talk about books I’ve read recently that I enjoyed. Prepare yourself for the fangirl gushing.

I’m always down for an Austen-esque adventure, so when I learned about Jennieke Cohen’s next book, My Fine Fellow, I put it on hold from the library. I didn’t even read the synopsis or make the connection that it’s a gender-swapped retelling of My Fine Lady/Pygmalion. (Yes, even with that title.) But you know what? I’m not mad. Because this book is delicious.

I don’t mean delicious as in the writing or taste, those though are good too. But this book is all about food. The main characters are culinarians who have taken up the task of turning a street rat into a gentleman chef.

Basically, this whole book is just a good time. It’s fun, it’s ridiculous, it’s delicious. I love the characters and their banter. I love all the recipes and dishes they create. And I love the diversity the author included in the story.

Part of why I read historical novels is to learn about the past. I had no idea that Jewish people were treated so horribly in Europe and specifically Britain during this time period. I admire Jennieke for shedding light on that experience, especially using food to do so. I also appreciate that one of the main characters, Penelope, is part Filipino and has to deal with the rumors and racism when others learn the truth about her heritage. This is definitely an empowering story in that regard.

My knowledge of British history is apparently limited to the 20th century because it wasn’t until I read the author’s note at the end that I learned this book is partially altered history as it takes place during the reign of Charlotte (aunt to Queen Victoria). Jennieke decided to imagine how Britain may have flourished if she had become queen instead of her brothers. I love the world she created. I didn’t even blink any eye while reading, believing it could totally be a possibility for the time period.

This was a fun, historical story with good characters and a great premise. Fans of Jane Austen, My Fine Lady, and other stories set in early 19th century Europe will probably enjoy it too!


2 thoughts on “Book Spotlight: My Fine Fellow by Jennieke Cohen

  1. This sounds like a fun book! I’ll have to look for it—I’ve been on a kick where I’ve wanted all the Austen-like / Regency books.

    And I also have been discovering how little I knew about European history. I mean… I’ve lived my whole life in the USA, so I’m not surprised that I don’t know all the details of European history. But there are some pretty basic things (including the treatment of the Jews, which you mentioned) that I didn’t realize I knew so dismally little about.

    Liked by 1 person

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