Publication Date: 21st July 2022
I took a chance on this book and boy am I glad I did! You all know I don’t really tend to enjoy books with contemporary teenage girl friendships but with Ginger And Me it was one of those times when I was so pleased that I went against my usual ‘type’ of book.
Set in present day Glasgow the book opens with Wendy our main narrator being arrested for something, at this point we have no idea what.
From here we then go back in time through Wendy’s eyes and find out the turn of events which led up to her being arrested. Wendy is 19 and lives alone after the fairly recent death of her mother from cancer. Her father is also dead after separating from her mother and ending up homeless. Wendy struggled hugely after the death of her mother and had to spend some time in psychiatric care. We join her at the point that she has been released and is seeing her care worker and has returned to her job as a much loved bus driver.
Wendy is lonely and has no friends, she has let herself go and cares very little for her surroundings and her own self-care. Her care worker Saanvi suggests that Wendy join a club to meet friends so Wendy, a keen writer, joins a local writing group. It’s here that she learns about a local author named Diane Weston and starts to become interested in not only Diane’s work but Diane herself and her personal life.
Wendy trawls Twitter waiting for Diane to tweet and is overjoyed if Diane ever replies. This interest soon turns into an obsession with the author which Wendy sees only as an inevitable friendship.
Meanwhile Wendy also meets Ginger, a 15 year old girl who gets on her bus one day after supposedly stealing from a shop. The girls become close and form a friendship based on their loneliness and lack of mother figures. Ginger lives with her Uncle Tam who is a local ‘businessman’. Her home is quite often filled with people drinking into the night and Uncle Tam’s business partner’ Roddy is getting more and more hands on with Ginger.
The girls start to spend more and more time together. Ginger helping Wendy decorate her house and smarten herself up and Wendy giving Ginger a safe place of refuge.
But the lives of Wendy, Ginger and Diane start to converge and we begin to piece together the events leading up to the arrest.
Believe me when I tell you that Wendy is a character who will stay with you forever. She is quirky and lovely but fails to pick up on social cues and etiquette. She is naive and vulnerable doesn’t quite appreciate some of the tight spots she gets herself into. Some of the one liners of Wendy’s thoughts had me chuckling to myself. There’s one conversation she has with Saanvi about self-love that’s just brilliant! She’s intelligent and super smart when it comes to words and writing and being in her own head. She’s just not very socially adept!
I really did love this book and the characters inside. Wendy is one of those people who will just stay with you! Ps the ending was just so perfect, right down to the last sentence which is a corker!
Thank you to Elissa and HQ for my review copy.
See you all soon.