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Saturday 28 July 2012

Review: Raising Wild Ginger by Tara Woolpy

Author: Tara Woolpy
Publisher: Bats in the Boathouse Press
Page Count: 217 pages, Paperback
Date Published: July 1st 2012
Find it on Goodreads: Raising Wild Ginger
Source: A copy was sent to me by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Goodreads

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?

 My Thoughts: Fantastic. Beautiful. Amazing.

This is an incredible book. I am not normally a huge fan of books not in the YA genre, but this has got to be one of my favorite books I've read in a while. It was so great, filled with a story that made me smile, cry, laugh. I loved the characters and the plot and everything in between. I devoured the book with ease... This is a very special book. 

I have not read the first book in this series, Raising Gillian's Wolves, but I really didn't need to. There were a few details that I was unsure about in the beginning, but it was pretty easy to look past that, considering this is an entirely different story. I have no clue who Gillian is, other than the fact that she lives in Amsterdam and is Edward's best friend, but that doesn't matter. What does matter is this story! The book begins with partners Sam and Edward living together and happily, but Sam is wanting desperately to become a father. Edward, though hesitant, agrees and they take in Ginger as a foster child. Ginger's had a very, very terrible life and a past that is unimaginable. At twelve years old she knows how to seduce men, wears tons of makeup, and is completely, and utterly broken. She steals and lies, but she also worms herself into Edwards heart. Sam's, not so much. Edward and Sam begin having problems, as Ginger is so much to handle, and not what Sam was expecting. But Ginger is a smart girl and knows how to get Sam to warm up to her. But she's also a fragile, hurting little girl who has been abused in the past in a way that will bring tears to the reader's eyes. The book follows Sam, Edward and Ginger's journey to find family and love together, while all healing from their pasts... Especially Ginger. 

I was completely immersed in this book. It was one that had my emotions on a huge roller coaster ride. I laughed, I cried tears of joy, and tears of sadness. I had moments where I wanted to scream and rip my hair out because of the cruelty in this world, as well as moments where I couldn't stop smiling because of how incredible this little family's story was. Ginger was a little girl with a horrific past that makes me tense up in anger each time I even think about it. She will always hold a place in my heart now, for she is a very special character. She is clever and cunning, sad and hurt, and just doesn't really know how to be a twelve year old. But Edward and Sam help her with that and she learns to trust them and love them. I loved all of the characters. Sam and Edward were both a delight. They each had pasts that were a bit traumatic but they had no clue what it would be like to take in Ginger. Edward was probably my favorite character, just because he was so likeable. He was rational and loving and cared so much for both Sam and Ginger. He would do anything to keep the three of them together. 

Another thing I loved about this novel was the fact that the story had so many different aspects to it, but it was never confusing, really. It was just a book about two men, trying to raise their new, twelve year old daughter. Sam and Edward were not a fairytale couple. They had fights and disagreed and they were just a normal, everyday couple. It wasn't all fluffed up. The story was about how their lives went on with Ginger now in it. They had to adjust work and social lives, what with it being summer, she had no school. So she went and worked with a woman in the lab at the university Sam works at, working with rats. Edward continued with his photography, trying to get a book published. They had their synagogue and Sam teaching Hebrew to people for their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. Ginger had to adjust to being in a Jewish family and making friends with Ora, one of Sam's students. It was just a normal book, about normal people with a daughter that came from a traumatic past. I loved all of the characters in this book, with the small town feeling not too dramatic, but there enough to feel it.

I could continue about this book, but I shan't considering I need to get to sleep. I loved Raising Wild Ginger. It was a fantastic read and I wish everyone could read it. It's a great book about family, healing, love and parenting. If you come across it, please check it out! I'd love to hear what you thought of it, or Woolpy's first novel! If you've read Releasing Gillian's Wolves, let me know what you thought of it!

Happy reading!

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