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Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers' Favorite
Sometimes, when I read a book, something about the words on the page, the story, or just the feelings that the story evokes in my heart make me realize that a part of the book will always be a part of me. So is the case with Raising Wild Ginger, the newest work by author Tara Woolpy. The story follows Edward and Sam, a loving and supportive couple, as they come to the journey of parenthood through fostering twelve-year-old Ginger. Ginger is a young girl who has been through more in her short life than most people should have to endure in a lifetime. Her tough exterior hides a delicate and fragile psyche, and has caused her to push away all those who might have tried to help her in the past. Edward and Sam, who’ve dealt with their own share of difficulties, from Edward’s alcoholic history to both of them dealing with families who were judgmental and unsupportive of them and their sexuality, are determined that they won’t give up on the girl who’s been left in their charge.
I feel I must disclose that I was adopted as an infant, and I worked for many years as an adoption social worker, so the themes of this story are especially close to my heart. That being said, even without this connection, I still would have loved this book. Raising Wild Ginger is wonderfully and delicately written, and explores complicated themes of childhood abuse, parenting children with difficult histories, gay parenting, and the idea that people don’t have to be related by blood to be true families. Heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once, I cannot recommend this book more highly to anyone who loves an excellent read in any genre, but especially those who love to read about families that come together in not necessarily conventional ways. This was the first book that I’ve read by author Tara Woolpy, but it certainly will not be the last.