Review: The Cincinnati Tin Trunk – Richard Hopkins

Those who have been around for the long haul might remember that in my 2016 Favourites I mentioned the first book written and published by my friend Richard Hopkins – Interleaving. It’s now my pleasure to let you know that the second book in what is going to be a trilogy is out now!

“Readers are taken on a historical treasure hunt”

It’s always nice to be able to give a friend’s projects some airtime, and it’s even nicer when I really enjoyed the book. The Cincinnati Tin Trunk is like Interleaving in many ways, and totally different in others. I’ve talked before about how my relationship with historical fiction has been a bit rocky, but Richard’s books are a really great way to ease yourself into history – by literally immersing yourself in the past. Inspired by the life and work of a real nineteenth century Dutch photographic Assistant, Nicolaas Henneman, the novel follows the journey of one twenty-first century historian’s physical, literary and photographic quest to learn more. Together with Tom, his wife Libby and adult daughters, readers are taken on a historical treasure hunt across the US, Holland, France, the UK and back again.

Both a product of its time (2016 – yikes!) and a captivating exploration of early photography, nineteenth century life and migration The Cincinnati Tin Trunk can’t help but take you on a walking tour of Henneman’s life. Like Interleaving Richard drops you into London, both then and now, and guides you around the places that you might otherwise not have noticed. The book is both a form of escapism and a reminder that every story have many sides, some of which still need to be uncovered.

Despite the fact that the characters are all new in this second instalment of the trilogy, it does what all good middle trilogy books do – it leaves you pondering about the third. Once again the profits from the book are going towards charities that help homeless people in London. Both Interleaving and The Cincinnati Tin Trunk are available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback format, so check them out if you’re interested!

The book I reviewed last week (Tigerish Waters)  is also giving its profits to charity – Christmas presents with a side of social justice anyone?   

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