The Gingerbread Girl



Emily has lost her child, which causes tensions in the relationship with her husband Henry. She takes up running till she collapses to control her grief. Henry notices her behavior and tries o talk to her. The situation escalates and she runs off, just with her running clothes and a few credit cards. Her father suggests going to their small house on the Keys and she follows his proposal. During the next few weeks she runs 5 miles a day while eating nest to nothing.

One day, Dake, who runs the draw-bridge between Vermilllion and the mainland, tells her that Pickering is back. Pickering is one of the rich owners of the huge houses on the beach. He arrived with a new “cousin” who is young and attractive. Dake tells her that he thinks all the “cousins”, Pickering arrives with, are killed and shipped back with his yacht. A bit later Emily runs past that estate and sees a woman lying injured in the trunk. She walks closer and is knocked down from behind.

Em wakes up and in order to prevent Pickering from killing her, she lies to him. She says that Dake knows where she is. Pickering leaves with the intention to eliminate Dake. Slowly she is able to get rid of the duct tape which ties her to a chair. Emily has almost finished when her tormentor returns. She succeeds in knocking him down, although she is weak and injured by the falling the chair.

Emily tries to find the exit, but she ends up in the bedroom. By jumping out of a window she is able to escape and to gain a lead over Pickering. At the beach she already feels free although he is close on her heels. She seems to be fitter than him, but a Mexican worker, who works for Pickering, catches her. Emily convinces the Latino that she is needs help, but he gets brutally stabbed with a pair of scissors. Exhausted and heavily breathing she limps on.

When Pickering reaches her at last, she jumps into the water as last escape. Em realizes that he is not able to swim and pulls him deep under water. With her last power she swims ashore where she watches him drifting helplessly away in the Gulf Stream.

My impression

“The Gingerbread Girl” is divided into twelve parts. The first three parts form the exposition. The next four parts are the rising action. The climax is in part eight. It is the escape from the house. The moment of final suspense is in part nine, ten and eleven. The solution follows in the last part.

Stephen King describes the story very brutally, but in simple words. He plays with the fear of being kidnapped and killed by a psychopath. The reader is torn between the hope for Em and the fear that Pickering might kill her. In many situations she seems to win, but by chance Picking always stays on her heels. In my opinion the introduction is a bit too long, but I like the happy ending, when she gets her revenge. Em is mentally very strong and tries to think rationally all the time. From the point where Dake tells Emily about Pickering the plot is quite predictable. Most of the story seems realistic, but on the other hand the ending with the Mexican and Pickering’s unexpected fear of water -Pickering as a man who owns a boat and a house on the beach – is not convincing. It makes the reader wonder, if Stephen King wanted to put an end to the story.


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