Title: Leaving Lucy Pear
Author: Anna Solomon
Publish Date: July 26, 2016
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "One night in 1917
Beatrice Haven sneaks out of her uncle's house on Cape Ann,
Massachusetts, leaves her newborn baby at the foot of a pear tree, and
watches as another woman claims the infant as her own. The unwed
daughter of wealthy Jewish industrialists and a gifted pianist bound for
Radcliffe, Bea plans to leave her shameful secret behind and make a
fresh start. Ten years later, Prohibition is in full swing, post-WWI
America is in the grips of rampant xenophobia, and Bea's hopes for her
future remain unfulfilled. She returns to her uncle’s house, seeking a
refuge from her unhappiness. But she discovers far more when the
rum-running manager of the local quarry inadvertently reunites her with
Emma Murphy, the headstrong Irish Catholic woman who has been raising
Bea's abandoned child—now a bright, bold, cross-dressing girl named Lucy
Pear, with secrets of her own."
My Two Cents:
In "Leaving Lucy Pear," Bea has a baby out of wedlock. Instead of being strapped with taking care of a child that she is ill-prepared to take care of, she places the baby under a pear tree on her family's property where she knows that the baby will be taken in by the large family that steals the pears from the tree.
This book started out fairly slowly for me. I thought there were some strands of other stories that could have been streamlined a little bit. Eventually I was pulled into the story by Bea meeting Lucy and Lucy struggling to figure out where she fit in with both her adoptive family as well as with the family that left her behind. Lucy was definitely the most intriguing character to me. Her adoptive family is a huge, poor Irish Catholic family where each child has to struggle to stand out and be noticed. I loved seeing how Lucy comes into her own through being forced to do this.
I enjoyed the historical detail in this book. The book takes place in the 1920s in New England where the world is very divided by the haves and the have nots. This book explores this a little bit, which I really liked. Overall, this book had a slow start but ended up being a good story about finding one's place in the world.