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Gingerbread
by Helen Oyeyemi


Overview -

"Exhilarating...A wildly imagined, head-spinning, deeply intelligent novel." - The New York Times Book Review

" W]ildly inventive... Helen Oyeyemi's] prose is not without its playful bite." - Vogue

The prize-winning, bestselling author of Boy, Snow, Bird and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours returns with a bewitching and imaginative novel
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More About Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi
 
 
 
Overview

"Exhilarating...A wildly imagined, head-spinning, deeply intelligent novel." - The New York Times Book Review

" W]ildly inventive... Helen Oyeyemi's] prose is not without its playful bite." -Vogue

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

Influenced by the mysterious place gingerbread holds in classic children's stories, 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 Druh strana, the far-away (or, according to many sources, non-existent) land of Harriet Lee's early youth. The world's truest lover of the Lee family gingerbread, however, 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.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781594634659
  • ISBN-10: 1594634653
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Publish Date: March 2019
  • Page Count: 272
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
Books > Fiction > Magical Realism

 
BookPage Reviews

Gingerbread

If Gingerbread is your first Helen Oyeyemi novel, then there is something you need to know. You are about to love a story that you may or may not understand. It straddles the familiar and the world of make-believe so remarkably well that you may be left believing in that which doesn’t quite exist, while questioning what you consider to be facts about family, friendships and, of course, gingerbread.

We follow the life of a girl named Harriet Lee, daughter of Margot and Simon, who grows up in the land of Druhástrana amid the idyllic wheat fields, in a life of serfdom to the wealthy and legendary Kercheval family. But Druhástrana, once a powerful small nation, seems to have fallen off the map, and now only exists as a myth for the rest of the world. No way in. No way out.

Or so it seems—until Margot gets a message via a homing pigeon from a very distant cousin in Britain (also a wealthy Kercheval), who somehow comes across a video clip of Harriet and sees promise in the young girl. He wants to rescue the Lees, so to speak, and thanks to Margot’s magical gingerbread, Harriet and Margot are able to leave Druhástrana, but with a new debt to the Kerchevals.

That was then, and this is now. Living in a seven-story walk-up apartment, Harriet is now 34 years old and a mother to a very curious 17-year-old named Perdita. Will Perdita be the reason that Harriet and Margot are finally forced to revisit their Druhástranian roots? And were they really able to escape their history while forging a new life in Britain?

Thoroughly strange yet absolutely mesmerizing, the sixth novel from award-winning Oyeyemi is the perfect escape.

 
BAM Customer Reviews