adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.50

Buy for $24.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

"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, best-selling author of Boy, Snow, Bird, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, and Peaces returns with a bewitching and imaginative novel.

Influenced by the mysterious place gingerbread holds in classic children's stories, beloved novelist Helen Oyeyemi invites listeners 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 faraway (or, according to many sources, nonexistent) 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 listener.

©2019 Helen Oyeyemi (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Both stunningly beautiful and breathtakingly original... [Oyeyemi’s] imagination, it turns out, is as boundless as her talent. Literary fiction is often knocked for being dismal and cynical, but Oyeyemi proves that it can just as easily be life-affirming, charming and just plain fun. Gingerbread is an enchanting masterpiece by an author who's refreshingly unafraid to be joyful, and it proves that Oyeyemi is one of the best English-language authors in the world today." (Michael Schaub, NPR)

"Exhilarating...Gingerbread is jarring, funny, surprising, unsettling, disorienting and rewarding.... This is a wildly imagined, head-spinning, deeply intelligent novel that requires some effort and attention from its reader. And that is just one of its many pleasures." (New York Times Book Review)

"[T]he novel's real enchantment is its experimentation with storytelling itself...this book is not only about childhood, but also what it feels like to be a child." (Time

More from the same

What listeners say about Gingerbread

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    70
  • 4 Stars
    53
  • 3 Stars
    42
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    33
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    111
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    13
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    59
  • 4 Stars
    41
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    36

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful, Evocative Experience

I feel like a caveman who’s been handed a diamond: You can barely comprehend this strange and wondrous thing, but you know it’s beautiful. And if you turn it ever so slightly, the light finds a new facet and you’re in awe again.

So far, this is the only Oyeyemi novel narrated by the author, and I feel her voice is SO VITAL to the story, I won’t listen to her other books (read by anyone else) - But I WILL buy printed copies and imagine her voice reading them. Dear Audible editors, please re-record her other books with Helen as the narrator! Absolutely deserving of multiple listens!

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narration difficult to follow

The narrator, tho has a cute sounding voice, tends to split and speak much too fast. Lacks enunciation. Very difficult to follow.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exquisite

This book, and the narration by the author, are simply exquisite. It is not a quick read/listen, it's more something to savor in small increments. Give yourself time to digest this story. Also, the review by purplebrain gets it right - the author's voice is absolutely vital to the story. This is one of the few times I would say it is more important to listen than to read. I would love to explore this author's other works, but won't until she herself records them.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Engrossing but a touch confusing

I really enjoyed this book, despite massive confusion at times (it seems to be written purposely that way, however, as the confusion always resolves itself). The book and storytelling is enchanting, clever, and contemporary.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Um what?

I honestly couldn’t tell you what this was about. It’s cute and quirky, but honestly...

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Intriguing but Unimpressive

I love an alternative take on a fairy tale but this story has too much going on and yet somehow at the same time not enough to keep me hooked. I was simultaneously confused and underwhelmed. Not bad, but disappointing after high expectations.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

love and confusion

i think I loved it, and I have no idea what just happened. immediate reread.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars

A disaster

Oh, my gosh. I forced myself to restart twice. On third go, I realized it wasn't my attention that was the problem. It's impossible to follow the story, the characters, the plot. I had chosen as a book to fulfill a genre in a challenge so I forced myself to keep listening in hopes at some point it would make a modicum of sense. No such luck. What a waste of time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

The most beautifully written pile of nonsense ever.

I’m not sure how to describe my strong reaction to this book... the performance was perfect and the writing is stunningly beautiful and gripping... and yet, I really disliked this story. The plot was nonsensical and there entire time I was hoping it would somehow form a story arc soon... or that it would just end. Eventually it did the latter.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I never really figured out what was going on.

The book is a kind of stream of consciousness that jumps from topic to topic and sometimes only they seem to connect, at least I couldn't find a ton of connections.