Olive, Again

Ten years back, Elizabeth Strout was declared winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her signature collection, Olive Kitteridge stories. Now she returns with a bang, and her comeback looks even better. 

Elizabeth Strout, book after book, never seems to stop amazing her readers. Be it her, Amy, Isabelle, or be it Anything is Possible, she captures the intricate relationship between characters and all nuances of pain, heartache, regrets, grace, and struggling humanity amid all these, very aptly. 

Olive, Again – A Summary


With Gingerbread, what author Helen Oyeyemi wants to make the readers believe is that they are never too old for fairy tales. She is a professional writer, and most of the children have read her folklore books. Mr. Fox, a novel written in 2011 and Boy, Snow, Bird released in 2014, are some of her excellent works. 

Gingerbread – Storyline

An image of gingerbread.

At the center of her new novel, Gingerbread is a brother and sister Hansel and Gretel, who escape from a witch’s house (taken from a classic fairy tale of Germany). The new novel is not a retelling of the German fairy tale. It carries all the trademarks of Oyeyemi, especially her sly obliqueness. The only thing common in her previous works and this one is the breathtaking originality and the beauty with which the story is unfolded.   

Gingerbread revolves around Harriet Lee, a teacher by profession, and her daughter Perdita. Both are characterized as mysterious as well as stubborn in their ways. While Harriet is portrayed as kind yet tough, Perdita is shown as a loner and reserved.