Title: Keeping Lucy
Author: T. Greenwood
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publish Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
My Rating: 3/5
The heartbreaking and uplifting story, inspired by true events, of how far one mother must go to protect her daughter.
Dover, Massachusetts, 1969. Ginny Richardson’s heart was torn open when her baby girl, Lucy, born with Down Syndrome, was taken from her. Under pressure from his powerful family, her husband, Ab, sent Lucy away to Willowridge, a special school for the “feeble-minded.” Ab tried to convince Ginny it was for the best. That they should grieve for their daughter as though she were dead. That they should try to move on.
But two years later, when Ginny’s best friend, Marsha, shows her a series of articles exposing Willowridge as a hell-on-earth–its squalid hallways filled with neglected children–she knows she can’t leave her daughter there. With Ginny’s six-year-old son in tow, Ginny and Marsha drive to the school to see Lucy for themselves. What they find sets their course on a heart-racing journey across state lines—turning Ginny into a fugitive.
For the first time, Ginny must test her own strength and face the world head-on as she fights Ab and his domineering father for the right to keep Lucy. Racing from Massachusetts to the beaches of Atlantic City, through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to a roadside mermaid show in Florida, Keeping Lucy is a searing portrait of just how far a mother’s love can take her.
Based on incredible true events, Keeping Lucy is the searing, heartfelt, and breathtaking story of just how far a mother’s love can take her.
After Ginny and Ab have a daughter, Lucy, born with Down syndrome, Ab sends Lucy to a state facility for care. Ginny eventually hears of mistreatment at the state facility, Willowridge, and goes to see Lucy. What starts as a day together turns into a road trip when Ginny decides to not return Lucy to Willowridge.
Historical fiction set in the 1960s and early 1970s. Most of the story takes place in 1971, but flashbacks to Ginny and Ab’s courtship and early marriage is included to flesh out the characters and their relationship. Ginny is hurt over having Lucy taken away, but feels powerless to do anything about it. Ab is bullied by his father, a powerful attorney, in all life decisions, and sending Lucy to Willowridge is his father’s decision.
Times were different in the 1960s, and this novel examines some of the ways in which women were powerless… even when it concerned the care of their children. Ginny was forced to a breaking point, and had to act in a somewhat drastic way to have her voice heard. Ginny was not alone on her journey with Lucy though. She had her best friend Marsha along for the ride. Marsha clued Ginny in to what was happening at Willowridge, and stuck by Ginny throughout the story. Besides being an emotional story of a mother’s fight for her daughter, this novel also displays a positive female friendship.
A heartwarming story of motherhood and friendship. Historical fiction that many fans of contemporary women’s fiction will likely enjoy.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.