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Gingerbread

Influenced by the mysterious place gingerbread holds in classic childrens stories equal parts wholesome and uncanny; from the tantalizing witchs 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 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 flat with some surprisingly verbal vegetation. And then theres the gingerbread they make. Londoners may find themselves able to take or leave it, but its very popular in Druhástrana, the far-away (and, according to Wikipedia, non-existent) land of Harriet Lees early youth. In fact, the worlds truest lover of the Lee family gingerbread is Harriets 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 mothers long-lost friend, it prompts a new telling of Harriets story, as well as a reunion or two. 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 Oyeyemis inimitable style and imagination, Gingerbread is a true feast for the reader. 

Price: $29.99 from Sanity

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