Wally Wander by NovaMelia is the story of Wally. Precocious as a child, Wally grows up with a family who has a lot of issues. Her mother has Parkinson’s and believes that the refrigerator talks to her. A niece has Asperger’s Syndrome and has played a role in a huge family secret. Wally lives in her own world. No matter what situation her family hands to her, whether it is being shipped off to live with relatives as a child, or being put in a nursing home as an adult, Wally makes the best of each situation. Her perceptions of reality help hold her together during the times that most people would fall apart.
A family tragedy and family secrets have more of an effect on Wally’s life than she realizes. As an adult when pieces of a puzzle start falling into place, she gains a greater understanding of her family and realizes why certain things had to happen the way that they did. Wally’s own eccentricities show that she has inherited some of her family’s genetic predispositions. It doesn’t really matter to her because no matter what she will continue to go with the flow.
I enjoyed reading Wally Wander. This novel is something out of the ordinary, and I think readers will enjoy it for its uniqueness. The characters are eccentric but still likeable. There were many times where I found myself pitying Wally and the circumstances that life handed her, yet because of her strong character she didn’t let it hold her back. This perseverance gave me a great deal of admiration for her character. I think that Wally Wander would make a great selection for an English class or a reader’s group. It will generate many interesting discussions, and I would find it interesting to hear other reader’s perceptions about the story.