cover image Keeping Lucy

Keeping Lucy

T. Greenwood. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-16422-3

Greenwood (Rust & Stardust) delivers an unabashed heart-tugger. The year is 1969 when housewife Ginny Richardson, of Dover, Mass., gives birth to a baby girl named Lucy, who has Down syndrome. Her lawyer husband, Abbott Jr. , and his overbearing lawyer father, Abbott Sr., convince her to have the newborn institutionalized. But two years later, after the institute is exposed on TV as a hellhole of neglect and mistreatment, a guilt-ridden Ginny spirits Lucy out of the place and hits the road with her daughter, unaware that she gave up parental rights and could be wanted for kidnapping. Accompanied by her six-year-old son, Peyton, and best friend, Marsha, Ginny drives to Florida to hide out with Marsha’s sister, a mermaid performer at Weeki Wachee Springs. On the way, Ginny tries to make up for lost time with Lucy. But she knows a reckoning with Abbott Jr., Abbott Sr., and the law is inevitable. The author makes Ginny’s transformation from timid housewife to empowered guardian an affecting one. And in Ginny’s road trip from Massachusetts to Florida by way of Atlantic City and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenwood explores a country caught between traditional values and the societal changes of the 1960s and ’70s. This is a moving depiction of the primal power of a mother’s love. (Aug.)