22 Jul Ginger and Me by Elissa Soave
It’s good to be weird!
Meet 19-year-old neurodiverse Wendy, whose no-filter narrative delivers a story that’s by turn funny, tragic, uplifting and heart-breaking – and sometimes all four at once!
A bus driver by day in her home town of Uddingston on Scotland’s west coast, Wendy is an aspiring writer, inspired by local writer Diane, whom she avidly follows on Twitter. Wendy fondly imagines a close bond between them, and her virtual stalking of Diane becomes reality when she finds out where she lives, and fondly imagines a life in which she rescues her from her wicked husband.
Meanwhile, 15-year-old Ginger has come into Wendy’s life when she boards her bus one day. A streetwise waif who’s constantly looking for ways to avoid going home to her uncle Tam and his sleazy friends, she latches on to Wendy.
Despite their age difference, it’s a friendship of equals – Wendy offers Ginger a safe haven to escape to, while Ginger gives as much as she takes, helping to ease Wendy’s loneliness and improve her home comforts – though her ways are not always strictly legal!
The tragedy of the story is that though Wendy recognises that all Ginger needs is someone to tend her flame and make sure she bursts into life, she is so obsessed with Diane that she cannot see her young friend is the one truly in need of permanent rescue.
Events escalate and the implied tragedy underpinning the narrative becomes heartbreaking reality.
This story has it all. Wendy and Ginger will capture your heart in all their beautiful, naïve frailty. You’ll laugh at lines like “She’s Scottish, but she doesn’t make a career out of it”; sob your heart out at the brutality of Ginger’s home life and empathise completely with long-suffering Saanvi, Wendy’s support worker whose advice to her charge to go out and make friends has such far-reaching consequences.
This is Elissa Soave’s debut novel, but I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot more from this witty, warm and perceptive story teller.
Ginger and Me by Elissa Soave is published by HQ in hardback and ebook
About the Author
Elissa Soave won the inaugural Primadonna Prize in 2019. She was also a Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect finalist 2019 and has had work published in New Writing Scotland, Gutter, Structo and The Glasgow Review of Books. She’s had two short plays performed by the Short Attention Span Theatre Group and has performed at various spoken word events. She currently lives in South Lanarkshire and Ginger and Me is her debut novel.
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