Monday, 5 June 2017

Book review : The Original Ginny Moon - Benjamin Ludwig

Being a foster parent is a hard enough job at the best of times, but taking on a special needs child takes the challenge to a whole new level. Even more so when they have a psychotic birth mother intent on getting their child back and you have your own baby on the way. Such is the situation that Maura and Brian find themselves in when they take on the inimitable Ginny Moon. It would be easy to portray them as totally altruistic, heroic, faultless individuals but the book is more realistic than that, showing them at times pushed to their limits by Ginny's testing behaviour and making dubious parenting choices. Maura in particular has a hard time keeping Ginny close when she feels that her own newborn is at risk. But Ginny, with her unique take on the world, is a heart-melting, extremely lovable if not always likeable teenager and you can't help but empathise with her, even when she's painstakingly planning on how to get herself kidnapped or trying to burn the house down !

Anyone who has ever lived or worked with an autistic child will recognise many of the common behavioural patterns, such as needing to eat a specific number of grapes for breakfast or not being able to deal with more than one question at a time, but just as in the real world, every child is unique and Ginny has her own complex backstory and hang-ups to deal with. Having had a very traumatic early childhood before being taken into care, she has come a long way and developed into a very caring and fiercely loyal person - unfortunately this isn't the way she always comes across so fitting into her new Forever Home, and the world at large, isn't always smooth sailing.

By turns poignant and funny, it sucks you in and has you compulsively turning the pages, desperate to find out if Ginny will get the happy ending that she undoubtedly deserves. The author, Benjamin Ludwig, has drawn on his own experiences of adopting an autistic child in this book, and this really comes across in his endearing, enlightening and brutally honest narrative.

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £12.99

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQ (1 Jun. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848455429
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848455429
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.2 x 24 cm

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book in order to share my honest opinion.

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