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Wrecker: Summer Wood

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
After foster-parenting four young siblings a decade ago, Summer Wood tried to imagine a place where kids who are left alone or taken from their families would find the love and the family they deserve. For her, fiction was the tool to realize that world, and Wrecker, the central character in her second novel, is the abandoned child for whom life turns around in most unexpected ways. It's June of 1965 when Wrecker enters the world. The war is raging in Vietnam, San Francisco is tripping toward flower power, and Lisa Fay, Wrecker's birth mother, is knocked nearly sideways by life as a single parent in a city she can barely manage to navigate on her own. Three years later, she's in prison, and Wrecker is left to bounce around in the system before he's shipped off to live with distant relatives in the wilds of Humboldt County, California. When he arrives he's scared and angry, exploding at the least thing, and quick to flee. Wrecker is the story of this boy and the motley group of isolated eccentrics who come together to raise him and become a family along the way.
For readers taken with the special boy at the center of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Wrecker will be a welcome companion.

Good Reads Summary

The main character, a little boy, did not even receive his name till around one year of age.  He received the name, Wrecker, because he had a penchant for getting into things he shouldn't.  After his father takes off and his mother is arrested, Wrecker is placed into the foster care system.  He ends up with his uncle, Len, for a short while.  Len has a wife he takes care of constantly, he decides he cannot take care of Wrecker.  The residents of Bow Farm, up the road from Len, decide to take in Wrecker until he is returned to the foster care system.  Wrecker stays with these people till he is 20, his character and personality develop and are shaped lovingly by these residents.  This novel is impressive in that the author manages to create such odd circumstances and make them appear perfectly believable.  Wrecker could have been an angry child who turned into an even angrier man, however, because of the residents of Bow Farm, Wrecker now has infinite potential as a person.  A very heart-warming story, this is recommended for young adults/adults. 

5 Stars