Everyone tells Ginny that she should feel happy. After years in foster care, fourteen year old Ginny is finally with parents who will love her. Yet despite finding her forever family, she knows she will never stop crafting her Big Secret Plan of Escape. Because something heart-breaking happened a long time ago – something that only Ginny knows – and nothing will stop her going back to put it right. A fiercely poignant, inspirational story of a lost girl making sense of a world that just doesn’t seem to add up – Ginny Moon will change everyone who spends time with her.
Ginny Moon is a character who well and truly took root in my heart, her story will stay with me for a very long time. Her story is a story of finding your place in the world, finding where you belong and putting the past behind you.
Heart breaking and emotional, we see Ginny struggling to settle into life with her Forever Family. There is something awful in Ginny’s past and she needs to take care of things, that means returning to her birth mother. It’s hard to see Ginny’s struggles, she tries so much to tell people about why she needs to return to her mother, but they just don’t understand, which illustrates how frustrating life can be for people with autism. Her varied attempts at being kidnapped and running away made me say ‘nooooo’ to myself, it’s hard seeing Ginny destroy her new life. But her reasons behind it are understandable.
The book is narrated wholly by Ginny, Benjamin Ludwig captures her voice perfectly and truthfully, at no point reading this did I question who was telling this story and think ‘this is obviously written by an adult man’. A sign of a talented writer. It took me a couple of chapters to get to grips with Ginny’s voice but once I did I didn’t want to leave her. This is quite a dark tale and had it been narrated by anyone other than Ginny, it would have been too dark. Ginny’s voice and view of the world make her story easier to take in and digest.
The biggest lie I told myself whilst reading this was ‘just one more chapter’. This book is a powerful and extraordinary story, I look at the world in a different way now and hopefully Ginny’s story will break down walls and change views for others too. This is a very special book, with a very special character that needs to be celebrated.
BOOKISH CORNER RATING – 5/5 STARS
A lifelong teacher of English and writing, Benjamin Ludwig lives in New Hampshire with his family. Shortly after he and his wife married they became foster parents and adopted a teenager with autism. ‘The Original Ginny Moon’ is his first novel. Which was inspired in part by his conversations with other parents at Special Olympic basketball practices.
‘The Original Ginny Moon’ is out on the 30th of May published by HQ Stories in hardback. With thanks to the team at Harper Insider for my copy.
If you enjoy Ginny Moon, then give these a go:
‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman
‘The Museum of You’ by Carys Bray
‘The One-In-A-Million Boy’ by Monica Wood
‘Alice and the Fly’ by James Rice