Leaving Lucy Pear

Leaving Lucy Pear

Book - 2016
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"From the first page, I was under Anna Solomon's spell." --Sue Monk Kidd

Chosen as a must-read book for summer 2016 by TIME Magazine, InStyle , Good Housekeeping , The Millions ,  the  Minneapolis Star Tribune , and  BookPage

Set in 1920s New England, the story of two women who are both mothers to the same unforgettable girl--a big, heartrending novel from award-winning writer Anna Solomon

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.

In mesmerizing prose, award-winning author Anna Solomon weaves together an unforgettable group of characters as their lives collide on the New England coast. Set against one of America's most turbulent decades, Leaving Lucy Pear delves into questions of class, freedom, and the meaning of family, establishing Anna Solomon as one of our most captivating storytellers.

"Anna Solomon writes with a poet's reverence for language and a novelist's ability to keep us turning the page. A gorgeous and engrossing meditation on motherhood, womanhood, and the sacrifices we make for love." --J. Courtney Sullivan
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2016.
ISBN: 9781594632655
Branch Call Number: FIC Solom
Characteristics: 319 pages : map.


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Sep 30, 2016

A baby girl comes with stolen pears right out of folklore and transforms social and natural history in Cape Ann. Lovely, brilliant and strikingly original in all ways.

Sep 22, 2016

This captivating novel is definitely on my “Must Read List”. I absolutely adored the characters, setting, and storyline. This beautiful piece of literature will be added to my personal collection, as I will likely be rereading this book in the future. It has quickly became one of my favorites!

“Leaving Lucy Pear” by Anna Solomon opens with a young Jewish girl named Bea. Bea has recently given birth to a beautiful baby girl, a baby girl who was conceived as a result of a sexual assault. The year is 1917, the setting a small suburb of Boston, the stigma on unwed mothers high. In order to avoid any social repercussions, Bea’s parents have sent her to live with her Aunt and Uncle while she has the baby in secret. After the child is born, her parents arrange for the newborn to be taken to a Jewish orphanage for adoption. The nurse who comes to collect the baby for the orphanage is very cold and distant; Bea can not allow her to take her daughter.

Bea’s uncle, a very wealthy estate owner, has a small pear orchid on the edge of his property. Every year, for as long as Bea can remember, stealthy thieves come for the ripened pears in the middle of the night. Bea’s uncle has always suspected the pear thieves to be a family who is just trying to survive, this is why he has never reported them. One night, as the pears reach their most ripen state, Bea decides this will be the perfect opportunity for her to leave her little bundle of joy for a family to find. She has no idea who these pear thieves are, or if they are even kind, but she leaves her daughter under a pear tree, hiding in wait for them to rescue her baby. When the pear thieves arrive she can not see them through the darkness, she can only hear them. They sound like a kind Irish family. She remembers the close-knit Irish families of her community and is immediately put at ease. As they carry her daughter off into the night, Bea is relieved to have found somewhere for her daughter to go besides the orphanage.

Years go by and Bea constantly reflects on the night she left her daughter under the pear tree. She wonders where she is, what she looks like, if she’s happy. One day a woman is sent to care for Bea’s aging uncle. This caretaker, Emma, immediately recognizes Bea as the mother of her daughter, the one she rescued from under a pear tree so many years ago, Lucy Pear. Lucy Pear is the spitting image of Bea, and Emma has little doubt Bea is Lucy’s birth mother. Bea is completely unaware Emma knows her long-held secret, one she has managed to hide all this time. This begins the journey of an amazing adventure through time and emotions. From the accurate historical and cultural references to the beautifully written prose, “Finding Lucy Pear” is an amazing piece of literature. I would highly recommend this new book by Anna Solomon as a great heart-felt read.

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