Gingerbread

Gingerbread Review

The prize-winning, bestselling author of Boy, Snow, Bird and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours returns with a bewitching and inventive novel.

Influenced by the mysterious place gingerbread holds in classic children's stories--equal parts wholesome and uncanny, from the tantalizing witch's house in "Hansel and Gretel" to the man-shaped confection who one day decides to run as fast as he can--beloved novelist Helen Oyeyemi invites readers into a delightful tale of a surprising family legacy, in which the inheritance is a recipe.

Perdita Lee may appear to be your average British schoolgirl; Harriet Lee may seem just a working mother trying to penetrate the school social hierarchy; but there are signs that they might not be as normal as they think they are. For one thing, they share a gold-painted, seventh-floor walk-up apartment with some surprisingly verbal vegetation. And then there's the gingerbread they make. Londoners may find themselves able to take or leave it, but it's very popular in Druhástrana, the far-away (and, according to Wikipedia, non-existent) land of Harriet Lee's early youth. In fact, the world's truest lover of the Lee family gingerbread is Harriet's charismatic childhood friend, Gretel Kercheval--a figure who seems to have had a hand in everything (good or bad) that has happened to Harriet since they met.

Decades later, when teenaged Perdita sets out to find her mother's long-lost friend, it prompts a new telling of Harriet's story. As the book follows the Lees through encounters with jealousy, ambition, family grudges, work, wealth, and real estate, gingerbread seems to be the one thing that reliably holds a constant value. Endlessly surprising and satisfying, written with Helen Oyeyemi's inimitable style and imagination, it is a true feast for the reader.

Title:Gingerbread
Edition Language:English

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    Gingerbread Reviews

  • Brooke

    2.5 stars. I have a feeling that I’m going to be in the minority when it comes to this book, but I just didn’t get it. I was confused and unsure about what was happening 80% of the time, due shift...

  • Amalia Gavea

    ‘’The colour of my heart is black.’’ A mother tries to persuade everyone to try her gingerbread. A daughter tries to survive the harsh school environment and a reality that doesn’t seem to ...

  • Ron Charles

    Someone must have given Helen Oyeyemi a handful of magic beans when she was born in Nigeria because she’s been planting them ever since. This fantastical writer, who completed her first, acclaimed n...

  • Doug

    1.5, rounded down.'We're as indivisible as gingerbread dough. Shhh, don't ask me what that means!' p. 221Ever since the publication of my 'most liked' review of the execrable and inexplicably award-wi...

  • Emer (A Little Haze)

    Wow... Oyeyemi is just supremely skilled at making words the centre-point of her writing. This novel at first glance might have little to no plot, and little to no truly identifiable characters... But...

  • Umut Reviews

    Beautiful writing, engaging characters. Some sentences are just to devour. However, it's too abstract for my taste and the plot structure caused me to get bored at times. So, I think I'll stick to a 3...

  • Samantha

    Gingerbread was my most anticipated read of 2019, and sadly it was a letdown. Look at that gorgeous cover! (And no, that's not the only reason I was so hyped.) I read Helen Oyeyemi's short story colle...

  • Donna

    This was my first time reading this author and I fear it may be the last if her other books are anything like this one. I knew going in it would be a weird story, and I was okay with that. I was in th...

  • Julie

    Lewis Carroll's quote: "Curiouser and curiouser" comes to mind as I try to describe this book. It certainly felt like I had gone down the rabbit hold at times. I loved the first half and remained full...

  • Kara Leann

    Gingerbread is one of the most unique books I have ever read. Helen Oyeyemi's writing is so beautiful and descriptive that she transports you to another world where anything is possible. I did have to...