Sunday, September 9, 2012

Raising Wild Ginger by Tara Woolpy

Parenting is hard. That's what Edward Rosenberg has always assumed, although his only experience with children has been as the drunken uncle. Now the love of his life, Sam DaCosta, is yearning for fatherhood. Edward's been sober for years. He and Sam are in a good place. Why rock the boat? On the other hand, how can he deny Sam his dream of a family? 

Then they meet Ginger. At twelve she's been through more than either Edward or Sam can imagine. She's seductive, secretive and dishonest. But somewhere between stealing his cash and alienating Sam, Ginger manages to wind herself into Edward's heart. Can the three of them create a family? Or will Ginger blow them all apart?

There is magnificent details of the everyday, the town they live in, the secondary characters are three-dimensional, you know these people, you could close your eyes and instantly be transported there and be in the action with them, with Woolpy's writing.  Yet this is paired with a clever mastery of the traumatic childhood of Ginger, the subtle details describing an abused child's upbringing, and her adjustment into the new household.   

Foster parenting isn't easy, and not every family which fosters is a perfect cookie-cutter family, Edward and Sam aren't angels, they have pasts of their own, it is not a fairytale relationship - it is a realistic portrayal of the give and take of adult relationships. This isn't exaggerated though, the characters have an edge of realism which is refreshing, and this combined with the fantastically delicate descriptions of their surroundings, their day-to-day life make Raising Wild Ginger such an enjoyable read.  

Emotional, touching, it may just make you cry (it certainly made me cry!).  It is a refreshing read on the difficult and often overlooked subject of foster caring.  And in my opinion not to be missed!  It's available on kindle for $3.16

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