When we first meet Annah, we learn that she’s a “tease” and more than willing to set up two different dates with two different people and simply go out with the one who shows up first. We also learn that she either has a sister or she’s insane. Or something along those lines.
During this slim graphic novel, different people (and animals!) narrate the story and tell us more about Annah. This switching of narration is odd, but it’s also interesting. We get the most information from Annah’s date, a woman by the name of “Chili.” According to her, Annah believes her father peeled out a part of her brain related to the sense of touch. Her father then took this part of her brain, and, mad-scientist-like, created a new person with it. That would be Annah’s “sister,” Ginger.
Around the same time this supposedly happened, Annah’s parents divorced. It seems more likely than “Ginger” was created out of Annah’s imagination to deal with her parents’ divorce. However, she completely believes that Ginger exists and at one point almost loses her job after believing she sees Ginger in the store and becoming hysterical.
Gingerbread Girl is a very unique work. It’s not a typical story, and if you want a beginning, middle and end with some explanation and closure, it’s best to look elsewhere. This graphic novel never really answers anything but lets readers make up their mind. It can be frustrating, because it feels as if there’s a lot of information in there that the story is refusing to give up. Depending on the reader, that will be a good thing (because it gets you thinking) or a bad thing (because it doesn’t let you understand enough since it doesn’t explain all the details). It feels as if this graphic novel could be really psychological, but it chooses not to go there and instead lets readers decide what they will.
The art is done in black, white and sepia. There’s something about the style that looks dated, from the ’70s maybe. While the art is fairly simple, it gets the point across and some of the facial expressions are great. Still, it’s the odd story (and even more unusual form of narration) that makes this graphic novel stand out. Gingerbread Girl is an offbeat and artistic read for adults that purposefully leaves many questions.
Reviewed by Danica Davidson on July 5, 2011
- Publication Date: July 5, 2011
- Genres: Graphic Novel
- Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
- ISBN-10: 1603090800
- ISBN-13: 9781603090803