11 July 2012

Raising Wild Ginger by Tara Woolpy

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?
I loved Tara Woolpy's first novel, Releasing Gillian's Wolves and her second offering, Raising Wild Ginger, solidifies Tara's place as one of my favourite authors. What did I like about it? (you ask) Well, I'll tell you:

  1. The relationship between Sam and Edward. Theirs is a real loving relationship, not a fairy tale loving relationship. They disagree, they compromise, they need time apart and time together, the list goes on. But, no matter what happens, they choose each other.
  2. Ginger. She lived through hell - and is a 12 year old girl - and so she acted out big time. But she stole my heart. I ached for her.
  3. Foster parenting is HARD! And Tara Woolpy doesn't pull any punches about that. 
  4. Raising Wild Ginger doesn't have even one page of 'slow'. The plot and sub plots are full of action, emotion and mystery. And all of the sub plots are handled well.
  5. This book carries on with the same characters that were introduced in Releasing Gillian's Wolves but it is easily a stand alone book. It's great to reconnect with characters I already had a relationship with from the first book.
  6. All of the characters in the book - even the lesser characters - are three dimensional and well developed. They are also all flawed and lovable.
  7. A realistic and sensitive portrayal of what it is to be a recovering addict.
  8. Ms Woolpy's writing style is easy to read and flows beautifully. The reader gets drawn right into the story and the lives of the characters.
  9. Despite the heavy nature of the main plot, there is also room for humour and normalcy.
  10. The ending. I cried - in a good way. Also I was left with that book hangover - it took a while for my mind to pull out of the book world and to emtionally let it go.
Here's a Taste from Page 54:
A steady Sunday afternoon crowd strolled through the mall. The occasional stranger's glance let me know what an odd group we were, two well-groomed middle-aged men and their pet Lolita. We found our way to the juniors section of a large department store.
"I don't really care what she wears," I'd told Sam earlier, "as long as it looks like she can breathe."
He'd been sitting cross-legged on the bed, skimming the table of contents of one of his scientific journals. "Not looking like a professional would be good."
And so here we were, flipping through racks of brightly colored little shirts and pants.
Character Development          5
Editing                                    5
Sex                                          0
Violence                                  0
Romance                                 4
Readability/Flow                    5


  1. Secondary characters that are three dimensional is a big deal! The sign of a great writer, for sure. I also love books that are that hard to get out of your head once you've finished.


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