Original published as Wrecker in hardcover. Reprinted in paperback as Raising Wrecker.
Its June of 1965 when Wrecker enters the world. The war is raging in Vietnam, San Francisco is tripping toward flower power, and Lisa Fay a young innocent from a family farm down south is knocked nearly sideways by life as a single mother in a city she could barely manage to navigate as just one.
Three years later, shes alone again. Kids arent allowed in prison. And Wrecker, scared silent, furious, and hell-bent on breaking every last thing that crosses his path, is shipped off to live with distant relatives in the wilds of Humboldt County.
Raising Wrecker is the story of this nearly-broken boy whose presence turns a motley group of isolated eccentrics into a real family. Real enough to make mistakes. Real enough to stick together in spite of everything ready to tear them apart. Theres no guidebook to mothering for Melody, who thought the best thing in life was eighty acres of old growth along the Mattole River and nobody telling her what to do until this boy came along.
For Melody, for Len, for Willow and Ruth, for Meg and Johnnie Appleseed, life will never again be the same once Wrecker signs on. And for Lisa Fay, theres one thought keeping her alive through fifteen years of hard time. One day? Shell find her son and bring him home.
Heartwarming and delightfully different, 23 out of 26 BookBrowse members rate Wrecker 4 or 5 stars! Here's what they have to say:
It is nice to read about good people doing good things for each other. This book follows the characters as they learn to trust again and eventually learn that hope is not a bad thing (Cheri W). The characters are so natural and flawed and three dimensional, you would swear they are real people. Expressively written with great tenderness and affection (Sylvia G). (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).
Wood (who was inspired by her own fostering experiences) succeeds with surefooted prose; a lush, earthy California backdrop; and a sensitive story of nurturing and family.
Wood...moves her characters gracefully through trying times, both cultural and personal.
A sweet adoptive-home story with extra heart and lovingly flawed characters, this second novel by Wood will find its home with fans of Jo-Ann Mapson and Pam Houston.
Meredith Hall, author of Without a Map
Summer Wood’s remarkable novel carves its way, sentence by gorgeous sentence, into the great complexity of love and family and community. Her dialogue is so natural and full we feel as though we are illicitly eavesdropping on these complex, flawed, and full-hearted characters.
Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon and Take One Candle Light a Room Wrecker is a wonderful portrait of a California long lost, but still alive here. Wrecker will wreck your heart and then put it back together again, with the big heart of a chosen family.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by avid a different kind of love story The title evokes images of destruction and abandon, but the story is about repair and acceptance and comfort and wholeness. The intelligence and warmth and depth of this book were a pleasant surprise. I have no reservations in recommending it.
Rated of 5
by Louise J. Amazing Story! I absolutely loved this book!! Wrecker is the story of a little three-year-old boy who was abandoned by his mother after she was put in jail with a 30 year sentence. He was raised by three very different women: Melody, Ruth and Willow. Melody... Read More
Rated of 5
by Veronica Golos A work of love and words. This book will get under your skin, just as the boy character, Wrecker, gets under the skin of his adoptive family of eccentrics. But it is in the beautiful language, the beat and rhythm of the sentences, the pull of the plot that Wood really... Read More
Rated of 5
by Barb Johnson I've Been Wreckered Summer Wood has a keen eye for place, and for the ordinary moments in life that become extraordinary in memory. Here, she aims that astute eye on a ragtag group living on the outskirts of society, each member of the ad hoc family drawn into the... Read More
Rated of 5
by La Deana R. (Norman, OK) Wrecker As the mother of an adopted son, I often envisioned my child in the position that Wrecker was left in life. At 3 years old, the only person he ever loved was incarcerated. An uncle and mentally handicapped aunt "rescue" him and try to raise him. Or... Read More
Rated of 5
by Gigi K. (Lufkin,, TX) Family life This read of a different type family was sweet but did not make me want to pick it up. Wrecker is an adoption story that turns out well but was definitely a book I did not mind putting down at the end of each chapter.
As she discusses in the book trailer below, the author, Summer Wood, was once a foster parent of four young boys (ages eight months through four years) in addition to having three boys of her own. This unplanned experience, she says, is what her novel Wrecker grew out of - the exploration of what happens to a child after he is taken from his mother, how he develops, and who takes care of him.
As set forth by
AFCARS, the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System, the term "foster care" is defined as "24-hour substitute care for children outside their own homes." This includes "nonrelative foster family homes, relative foster homes, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, and preadoptive homes."
In July 2012, the Child Welfare Information Gateway (a service of the Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S....
When his daughter, Amy, died suddenly of a heart condition, Roger Rosenblatt and his wife moved in with their son-in-law and their three young grandchildren. His story tells how a family makes the possible out of the impossible.
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