Gunpowder and Tea Cakes: My Journey with Felicity is a My Journey Book that focuses on Felicity Merriman.


Only in Gunpowder and Tea Cakes

Present Characters

  • Protagonist: The protagonist has just moved to Willamsburg to live with her grandmother after her mother's death. She feels treated like a baby by her overprotective father's strict rules and, while she will be a junior interpreter over the summer, does not initially think this is an exciting prospect. She is taken back in time with a miniature portrait necklace.
  • Dad: The protagonist's overprotective father. He runs a plumbing business and is a volunteer interpreter in Colonial Willamsburg. After his wife's death, he moved the protagonist to Williamsburg and they live with his mother. He was an only child. He is very strict, not allowing the protagonist to go anywhere after school that hasn't been arraigned in advance, to go with people he has not met yet, or take horseback riding lessons before she is sixteen. He is very into history and calls the protagonist "Pumpkin."
  • Mom: The protagonist's mother died last year, and the protagonist misses her a lot. She was giving the protagonist guitar lessons, baked butterscotch brownies (her husband's favorite), and encouraged the protagonist to pursue becoming a veterinarian. The protagonist never felt like she was being treated like a baby when her mother was alive.
  • Grandma: The protagonist's grandmother and Dad's mother. She owns an antiques shop. Her husband died before the protagonist was born. Grandma explains to the protagonist that her father's afraid that she'll get hurt.
  • Lauren: The protagonist's close friend. She is picking out a puppy at the shelter after school at the start, and doesn't understand why the protagonist isn't allowed to go without advance notice.
  • Amara: The protagonist's close friend. She is black and does African dance and ballet; her mother was born in Senegal.

Opening and Potential Plot Events

The final bell has rung, and Ms. Demming—the protagonist’s teacher—reminds the class that their persuasive essays are due on Monday. After thinking about how boring the assignment is and that she hadn’t started yet, the protagonist meets Lauren and Amara in the hall. The protagonist asks them if they’ve started their essays and Amara says she’s almost done, stating that her parents wouldn’t allow her to attend any extracurricular activities if she didn’t finish her homework—this includes her African dance group, with which she has a rehearsal with in the evening. Lauren admits that she hasn’t started yet and then explains her mother is taking her to the animal shelter to pick up a puppy, and that her friends are invited to come along. Amara accepts the invitation, but the protagonist declines, insisting that her Dad won’t get her go anywhere unless he was notified in advance. Despite Lauren’s persistence, the protagonist declines and heads to her grandma’s antiques shop.

When she opens the door, the protagonist is surprised to see her Dad, and asks for his permission to go with her friends. Her Dad declines, insisting he hadn’t met Lauren’s mom yet, and then reminds the protagonist about tomorrow’s daddy-daughter day at Colonial Williamsburg. The protagonist explains that her Dad is a volunteer interpreter at Williamsburg and that she was accepted to be a junior interpreter for the summer—only agreeing to do it because her Dad wanted her to. After Dad leaves, the protagonist complains about her father’s strictness and asks her Grandma to talk with him. Grandma insists that she can’t and then—after asking about school—takes the protagonist to a glass display case and shows a miniature portrait necklace. Grandma then explains that such portraits helped keep memories close from people who were separated—and the protagonist believes that, despite her grandmother not saying so, the portrait was painted because the lady was sick and was thought to die. She then recalls that following her own mother’s illness, she and Dad stopped taking pictures of her, and they put away all of her framed pictures following her death.

After Grandma goes upstairs, the protagonist opens the display case’s door and peers to study the portrait. She begins missing her Mom and recalling that she didn’t know how much she was going to miss her mother following her death; she stopped playing the guitar and doesn’t make anymore butterscotch brownies for her Dad. They also stopped mentioning Mom, though the protagonist believes that things would be different if she were still alive. After picking up the miniature, the protagonist is suddenly transported to 1775 Williamsburg.

She finds herself behind a hedge and hears commotion coming from behind it. As she hurried through an opening in the hedge, the protagonist trips and lands son the walkway. Felicity (whom she doesn’t know yet) ask if she is okay, and the protagonist—after noticing her dress—asks if she is a volunteer. She then checks out her surroundings—noticing the Governor’s Palace nearby—and assumes everybody nearby are interpreters. After the girls introduce themselves and Felicity—assuming the protagonist is new to the city—explains that many Patriots have been streaming into the city following the Governor’s plot to steal the colonists’ gunpowder from the Magazine. The protagonist initially believes an event is going on, but after re-examining the area, she begins to realize that everything is real. After Felicity turns away, the protagonist travels back to her time at the same moment she left. She then goes upstairs to her Grandma, who insists she go back downstairs. Feeling worried about Felicity—and knowing she wouldn’t need her Dad’s permission—the protagonist travels back to 1775 and, when Felicity asks about her whereabouts, explains that she was looking for her miniature. The protagonist then explains that she had gotten separated from her father, which Felicity thinks is because of the commotion, and is then introduced to Benjamin Davidson.

After this opening, events vary according to choices made.

  • The protagonist and Felicity agree to watch over Merriman's Store while Mr. Merriman and Ben run an errand; four men from the Committee of Safety arrive and the protagonist stands up to them when they damange store merchandise.
  • The protagonist, Felicity and ben travel to the Pamunkey River, where they meet two traders and purchase pottery to sell at Merriman's Store.
  • The protagonist and Felicity visit Mistress Reed's printing press to have a notice from Mr. Merriman get published. The protagonist takes an interest in the printing process and asks Mistress Reed what it's like to be a businesswoman.
  • The protagonist visits the Merrimans' house and meets Nan and Mrs. Merriman; after meeting Marcus, the protagonist becomes uncomfortable about the Merrimans owning a slave and can either return to her time or continue to stay in 1775. Online endings include visiting King's Creek Plantation and either escorting slaves back to the slave quarters or Felicity teaching the protagonist how to horseback ride.
  • The protagonist and Felicity wait at the Governor's Palace for the militia to arrive and, after they do, can either remain at the Palace and hear Governor Dunmore speak or agree to help retrieve barrels of gunpowder from the Magazine.
  • The protagonist and Felicity pay a visit to the Coles; The protagonist meets Elizabeth and, after receiving an invitation to visit Lady Dunmore at the Governor's Palace, can either accept or decline and go back home.
  • The protagonist and Felicity help a boy tied to the Liberty Post and confront the crowd of Patriots that were harassing him.

Regardless of the ending that is arrived at, the protagonist eventually returns to her own time using the miniature, and returns at the exact moment she left. She makes proper goodbyes to Felicity and generally says she has to go back to her father (whom Felicity believes she is separated from). The protagonist returns with a new-found understanding of her life. This often includes a better understanding of her father's strict rules; the importance of talking things out to avoid conflicts; people having to make complicated choices regarding the safety of their families; knowing she can make a difference in her country; learning the varying viewpoints of different people during the American Revolution; seeing that all Loyalists weren't bad people and that some Patriots could do bad things; learning that colonial women had more privileges than initially assumed, but less than in the modern era; and personal reflection on historical Black enslavement in America.

About Felicity's Time


  1. Felicity doesn't look at all surprised. "Many have arrived since the governor schemed to steal the colonists' gunpowder from the Magazine in the dark of night." The Gunpowder Incident occurred on April 20, 1775 and was referenced in Happy Birthday, Felicity!.
  2. Felicity is not yet reunited with Penny.