Ginny Moon is an experience. Its eponymous heroine is a 14-year-old girl with autism, who struggles, with hampered reasoning, to figure out who she is and where she belongs.
After years of childhood trauma, Ginny was removed from the care of her drug-addicted biological mother. Nine at the time, she went from one foster home to another before finally being adopted by a couple who hadn’t expected to have a child of their own. But a baby does come along, which complicates things for Ginny. In subsequent days, through much subterfuge and with the help of friends and the Internet, she reconnects with her biological mother. Her focus – drive – compulsion is retrieving her Baby Doll, which she left at her mother’s apartment when the police took her away five years before.
Told in the first person, this book is Ginny’s voice all the way, meaning that the readers is taken deep deep deep into the mind of an autistic child. Granted Ginny is at only one point on the spectrum. Still, her thought process is fascinating.
And real? I think so. The author, Benjamin Ludwig, is himself the adoptive father of an autistic teenager. Armed with first-hand experience, he brings Ginny to life. I was intrigued with her thoughts, with the way her mind works, and while her repetitious nature grew tedious at times, the plot quickly drew me on. I was actually so frightened at the end – so worried about Ginny’s well-being – that I kept putting off listening to the last 17 pages of the book.
Yes, I listened to this book, and the reader was excellent.
Looking back on it, Ginny Moon gave me the kind of insight into autism that This Is How It Always Is gave me into childhood gender dysphoria. Definitely a worthwhile – straightforward, well-crafted, emotional – read.