The Gingerbread Girl is the latest book by Sheila Newberry. I am sorry for the delay but the loss of my dad that I recently experienced altered my reading and my reviews.
When I read today the notes of the author I understood: Sheila Newberry has had nine children and maybe that's why the story is seriously crowded, the plot frenetic, you will find many dialogues and an action that will pass also through the dialogues of the various protagonists, but also many historical facts regarding the moment pre-Second World War and most of the facts touched UK during the latest world war conflict.
You won't find a moment of relaxation while you will read this book because you will learn a lot while at the same time you will follow the adventures of many many characters.
Everything starts in 1936 when Cora Kelly to the hospital because sick receives the visit of her mother. Her mother brought her a gingerbread man as gift disappearing forever from her existence. She died in fact some months after this meeting. Pregnant of another child she died because of it. Dede and Cora will be grown up so by Eliza, one of her mom's best friends.
And trust me when I tell you that these stories in the past and I would want to hope also in the present, pretty common, in our area as well.
What is Christmas for a child? Surely the best holiday of all the year. And gingerbread cookies? The perfume, smell and taste of the festive season.
For this reason once the feasts over and Cora understood her mother was dead because Eliza would have told her that, like also of the arrival of her new sister and well the fact that in the future they would have lived all together, Cora kept that gingerbread man as a relic. Obvious.
For recovering Cora will spend some time in a farm becoming friends with the boys, children of the owner of the farm, but other events will constrict her to return to London, stopping by at the house of her dad in various occasions but mainly at Eliza's house.
We will see during the various years the evolution of this kid of 7 years in a young woman, a telephonist at first once she started to work, and then a girl in search of that love that at least will arrive, always remembering the sacrality of Christmas.
Christmases not very happy, of course the ones celebrated during the war, where the word sacrifice the first one in the mouth of people including for ingredients of common recipes that couldn't be found.
Christmas sad also for other reasons like some member of the family sick.
Nothing was perfect during the years of the war.
Refuges, fear, terror, the war, and then the end of a nightmare and the reconstruction of a place and identity of people.
It is a beauty book, intense, it will let you think and it is moving, because it speaks to the heart of people telling of good values, help, generosity, good heart, difficulties, hard times and the force of people always able to going on, re-inventing their own destiny with the reality they were living in. In optimistic view.
I want to thank NetGalley and also Bonnier Publishing House.
Anna Maria Polidori