Leaving Lucy Pear

Anna Solomon. Viking, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-594-63265-5
The lives of a girl’s biological and adoptive mother are juxtaposed in this new work from Solomon (The Little Bride), a dreamy blend intertwining the harsh gender and class boundaries the women struggle against in the early 20th century. In 1917, Bea, the privileged daughter of Jewish industrialists in Boston and a prominent temperance leader, leaves her out-of-wedlock baby girl in her uncle’s pear tree orchard in Cape Ann. The baby is found by Emma, a dirt-poor Irish Catholic fisherman’s wife and mother of nine, who takes her in and names her Lucy Pear. Bea and Emma cross paths again in 1927 when Emma, the mistress of a politician courting Bea’s endorsement, becomes a maid for Bea’s aging uncle. Solomon slowly unravels the revelation of the women’s shared past—and future—and the horrific secret the little girl hides from both of them. The convoluted story of these women, and their little girl’s tortuous past, is set against the tumultuous labor unrest and racial politics of the era. Solomon rushes to wrap up the threads of her ambitious tale with a sudden burst of new beginnings, yet deftly manages to keep this lushly written look at two women’s haunting choices from slipping into family fantasy. Agent: Julie Barer, Book Group. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/09/2016
Release date: 07/26/2016
Genre: Fiction
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-68324-094-5
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-101-98176-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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