Ginger and Me
By Elissa Soave
Touching, haunting and a darn good read that’s hard to put down. Check out more in the blurb and my review below. Thanks, first, to the publisher HQ for gifting me a copy of the book.
Funny, touching and wise, I loved it’ Kit de Waal, bestselling author of My Name Is Leon
Wendy is lonely but coping.
All nineteen-year-old Wendy wants is to drive the 255 bus around Uddingston with her regulars on board, remember to buy milk when it runs out and just to be okay. After her mum died, there’s nobody to remind her to eat and what to do each day.
And Wendy is ready to step out of her comfort zone.
Each week she shows her social worker the progress she’s made, like the coasters she bought to spruce up the place, even if she forgets to make tea. And she even joins a writers’ group to share the stories she writes, like the one about a bullied boy who goes to Mars.
But everything changes when Wendy meets Ginger.
A teenager with flaming orange hair, Ginger’s so brave she’s wearing a coat that isn’t even waterproof. For the first time, Wendy has a real best friend. But as they begin the summer of their lives, Wendy wonders if things were simpler before. And that’s before she realizes just how much trouble Ginger is about to get them in…
An unforgettable debut novel from the winner of the Primadonna Prize 2019 which will stay with you long after the last page.
This is an interesting book that I found myself totally wrapped up in the characters of.
It all begins in present times in Polmont Prison with a pressing question as to why this setting, in the beginning of the book and who is Diane? The book then returns to how this all really began as it becomes, not a prison story, but one that is out and about in the world and friendship and how far an admiration for someone can go…
For readers who don’t know, Polmont is a town in central Scotland and really does have a prison within it.
Wendy is the narrator, this is her story and she starts from the beginning, in Glasgow and the Greater Glasgow and surrounding areas. She talks of her support worker, Saanvi, her job and not having many friends and on top of that, her mother dying hit her so hard. It becomes increasingly apparent how vulnerable Wendy actually is and even more so without her mother instructing her, so now Saanvi is attempting to open up her world a bit, which she does as she joins a writers group and a great obsession follows. She gets to know more about the author – Diane Weston and it isn’t just that she follows her on Twitter, clicking a like here and leaving a comment there. It is a serious obsession she develops for her, which becomes intense to the point it feels spine-tingling. Wendy in some ways seems to think, partly that it’s normal and to a certain degree not, but the obsessive thoughts overpower the rationale.
The surprising thing is that the author even had space to add small bits of humour here and there.
It is interesting to see the friendship between Wendy and Ginger develop throughout the book and revelations of their personalities coming through to the fore and just how close they become, all the while the obsession of one author is never far away.
There are also some shady characters such as Uncle Tam and Roddy, who are doing things that Wendy and Ginger get mixed up in, some of which is chilling.
It all ends in an unexpected way!
This is a book I highly recommend.