Novels can help readers better understand what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes. When I read “Ginny Moon’’, I gained great empathy for the main character and all the people in her life trying to help her succeed.
Ginny Moon is a 14-year-old autistic girl who never feels she belongs. She desperately wants to feel safe but often puts herself in harm’s way by her obsessive, impulsive behavior. She was rescued at the age of nine from an abusive, drug-addicted mother and put in a foster home. She now lives in her “forever home’’ with her “forever parents’’, Brian and Maura. Her adoptive parents learn how to interact with an autistic teenager while protecting their newborn daughter. Yet Ginny endangers herself and her family life by her perplexing desire to return to the home of her birth mother. She is obsessed with the idea that she needs to find and rescue her “baby doll’’, which everyone assumes is a toy she left behind.
Ginny is an exasperating and endearing character. Debut novelist Benjamin Ludwig does a great job portraying what it is like to be in Ginny’s original mind. He also gives a realistic portrayal of parents who are flawed but trying to do the best they can. He based the book on what he knows because he and his wife adopted an autistic teenager. This is a touching story with memorable characters.