Reviewed by Danielle
TITLE: Ringo and the Sunshine Police
AUTHOR: Nick Wilgus
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 300 Pages
RELEASE DATE: February 24, 2017
Thomas, an older gay musician living in a small Southern town, is ready to start a family. He fosters Jeremy, a special needs boy with no arms, and teaches him to play the drums so Jeremy can realize his potential to do anything he wants. Though it takes time, Thomas’s closeted boyfriend Randy steps out of the shadows to be part of what Thomas is working to build. With the advent of marriage equality, it’s a different world in the Deep South—one where the three of them have the chance to be a family.
Yet no one said it would be easy, and they soon learn the foster care system is far from perfect.
Just as Jeremy begins to settle in and thrive, his biological father reappears, demanding custody. Thomas and Randy know the man is unfit to care for Jeremy, but the law says otherwise. It seems they’re the only ones looking out for Jeremy’s best interests, and they face an uphill battle if they want to keep their new family together
Wow this was by all means not an easy read. I didn’t see this coming when I picked up the book because the blurb fascinated me. I have to say I am still a bit in limbo about what to think of it. There were parts that were brilliant and you can sense and feel the background search the author went through to describe specific situations. But there were also parts that I found myself skimming pages because I wanted to get to what “for me” was important.
The story is compelling and it grabbed me hard. I wanted to know what would happen right now! I didn’t expect (or need for that matter) the dark undertone, the long period of time of insecurity and although I can understand the reasoning behind it with introducing and learning about other characters (I don’t want to spoiler) to me it felt horrible to read and I wanted to have someone to take action so to speak.
Meeting Thomas, his lover Randy, Jeremy and the other people featured in this story brought along a totally unexpected eye-opening reading experience. Several society issues are touched by the author and if you agree or not they are valid and out there. Without spoiling too much, there is coming out, being openly gay, disability, grief and loss, religion, parent/child relationship, children’s protective services and more bringing it all to an intense read.
Author Nick Wilgus also walks a fine line in discussing some religious aspects but to me absolutely ruled when he spoke to sister Mary.
The grief is palatable on the pages as is the struggle. The spirit of Dad, Papa and “kids”, it pulls you in and makes you want to find redemption in one way or another urging you forward to see what comes next. Kudo’s to the author for that because keeping a longer story with serious issues on its toes is a great accomplishment.
Where I mentioned before I did find the book to be dragging at some points it could also very well be the fact that I was desperately searching for any ray of sunshine I could find.
I had one issue (the reason why I couldn’t give 5 hearts) and that was about the pronounces of Dad, Daddy etc for me it is just a word and you are a dad or a father in what you do it doesn’t have to be called that specific word.
Compliments on cover artist Garrett Leigh on doing an outstanding job on the cover.
This story definitely didn’t turn out a typical read for me but I do believe it made an impression that I didn’t want to have missed.
If you want to read a story that has social impact that grabs you, pulls you in and drags you with it while reading, you make sure to grab this one.