The Gingerbread House – Kate Beaufoy



Nestled among cherry trees in a picturesque country garden, the Gingerbread House resembles an illustration from an old-world storybook. But beware! For in the fairytale, that’s where the witch lives …

Not really. The Gingerbread House is nothing like the one in the fairytale and the witch is a grandmother suffering from dementia.

When Tess is made redundant from her job as an advertising copywriter, she goes to the Gingerbread House as it seems like the perfect place to work on a novel. But caring for her mother-in-law Eleanor is harder than she imagined.

The story is narrated by Eleanor’s granddaughter, fourteen year old Katia. Katia doesn’t talk but she’s an excellent listener and observer. She loves books and stories and it is sheΒ who named the house. As Tess starts to struggle with the isolation and the harsh reality of being a full-time carer, Katia is forced to watch helplessly.

This really hit a nerve with me. My grandmother suffers from dementia too. While it hurts that she doesn’t always remember me, the most emotional moment for me was when I realised that she knew fully well what was happening. “There’s something wrong in my head”, she told me. Like Eleanor, she has good moments and bad moments and it’s the bad ones that are positively draining.

There’s no sugarcoating, it’s highly realistic and believable and you will come away with nothing but the utmost admiration for those that are full-time carers.

The Gingerbread House is a deeply moving story. Heartbreaking and occasionally also quite funny. Katia is a fabulous narrator and her father often relies on dark humour to lift his wife’s spirits. There’s also a twist I didn’t see coming it all. At the end of the book, I was left with a massive lump in my throat.

Many thanks to Black & White Publishing and Netgalley for my copy which I chose to review.

The Gingerbread House is out now.

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  21 comments for “The Gingerbread House – Kate Beaufoy

  1. March 25, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    My grandmother has Alzheimer, so it’s slightly different but I think I would enjoy this story, because it sounds marvelously written and a good emotional read πŸ™‚ Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 25, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      It is quite beautifully written but so hard to say more without giving anything away. πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

      • March 25, 2017 at 8:18 pm

        Oh I know that problem well! But you did wonderfully! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  2. March 25, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    I love books with dark humour and it can work well in any genre! I used to work for a carers charity so I approve of any book that shines light on what they do. Nice review! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. March 25, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Sounds like a good book to show the reality of parts of life. It also sounds like it could be a difficult book to read, especially as you mentioned the lump in your throat. A book I imagine lots of people can empathise with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 25, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      It really is and yet it’s done quite sympathetically. If it hadn’t been for some of the humour, I may have been a blubbering mess! Thanks for stopping by! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. March 25, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    This one sounds really good Dee

    Caryl x

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 25, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      I thought so! If you read it, I’d love to.hear your thoughts!


  5. March 25, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Sounds like a great book. Thanks for an excellent review.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. March 25, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    This sounds so emotionally driven! I am curious now about this twist that left a lump in your throat. Fabulous review Dee.


  7. March 25, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Di know that dementia has appeared in a few books I’ve read in the last year or so and, having had personal experience also, I hav found how it is written about different and it has sometimes felt like a timid or way to move a plot along. Glad this book isn’t like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 25, 2017 at 11:55 pm

      I didn’t even know there were that many. Not that I’ll be seeking them out. May just stick to murders and stuff πŸ˜„


  8. ravenclawreadit
    March 26, 2017 at 9:29 am

    This sounds so interesting but like it could be a very difficult read. Your review was fantastic, it really made me want to check this out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 26, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      I hope you do! It’s so well written. Also, nice to meet you and thank you for following! πŸ˜€


      • ravenclawreadit
        March 26, 2017 at 12:05 pm

        Thanks, it’s nice to meet you too! πŸ™‚ I love finding great new blogs to follow!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. March 26, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Awesome review, loved the cover and the title but I don’t know if this will be hard to read because of the topic 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 26, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      It’s so hard to explain without giving anything away but no, it’s a tough topic yes, but it’s so beautifully done.

      Liked by 1 person

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