Ginny Moon

368p. Park Row. May 2017. Tr $26.99. ISBN 9780778330165.
When Ginny Moon was nine, she was removed from her abusive mother Gloria's custody and placed in foster care. Before she left, however, she put Baby Doll in a suitcase located in Gloria's apartment to keep her toy safe. Now Ginny is 14 and has been adopted by a loving couple who help her deal with her autism. But she is tormented by concern for Baby Doll. Is Ginny's cherished possession still in the suitcase? Her well-meaning parents have repeatedly offered to get her a new doll, which only exacerbates the teen's isolation and despair. Ginny's first-person narration reveals the gulf between her rich internal life and her ability to communicate with the outside world. Misunderstood and at odds with those around her, Ginny begins her quest to rescue Baby Doll while seemingly oblivious to the protections in place that prevent her from returning to Gloria, creating turmoil within her new family. Like any tale with an unreliable narrator, the book relies on details that gradually coalesce and make sense. Ludwig's debut novel incorporates his personal experience as the adoptive father of a teen with autism. The result is an enthralling, suspenseful, and heartfelt work.
VERDICT A go-to choice for those seeking fresh, compelling storytelling, particularly those fascinated by Mark Haddon's now-classic The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

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