Keeping Lucy

Keeping Lucy

by T. Greenwood

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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.

"A heartfelt tale of true friendship, a mother’s unstoppable love, and the immeasurable fortitude of women." - Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250164247
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/06/2019
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 419
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

T. GREENWOOD's novels have sold over 250,000 copies. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, Christopher Isherwood Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Maryland State Arts Council. Her novel Bodies of Water was a 2014 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist; Two Rivers and Grace were each named Best General Fiction Book at the San Diego Book Awards, and Where I Lost Her was a Globe and Mail bestseller in 2016. Greenwood lives with her family in San Diego.

T. Greenwood has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Maryland State Arts Council.

Two Rivers was named 2009 Best General Fiction Book at the San Diego Book Awards, and Grace received the same award for 2012. Her eighth novel, Bodies of Water, was a 2014 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist.

Greenwood teaches creative writing for San Diego Writer's Ink, Grossmont College, and online for The Writer's Center. She and her husband, Patrick, live in San Diego, CA, with their two daughters.

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Keeping Lucy: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Fredreeca2001 3 days ago
Ginny has given birth to a down syndrome little girl, Lucy. Her father-in-law makes sure Lucy is sent away. Then a series of articles come out about the neglect at the facility Lucy has been placed. Ginny makes a decision! This decision changes everyone's life.
 Ginny is a mother struggling to understand and remedy a situation she had no part in. All of the decisions were made before she was in her right mind after the birth of her daughter. Her husband is basically ruled by his father. And Ginny just follows along. There are many times in this story which I question Ginny's decision making skills. It was a different time and she had another child to take care of, not even check on your daughter for 2 years.....hmmm. There are other places I question her ability as well...but this is the BIG one. I should not judge because who knows what one will do in this situation. But, I think I would check and not just follow my husbands decisions blindly.
 This book is hard to read in places. I had to take a break or two. I could not read it straight through. When it talked about the mistreatment of the children, my heart just broke. This is an emotional, rip your heart out story and everyone needs to read it.
LawladyCase 4 days ago
Highly, highly recommended. This book grabs you on page 1 and doesn’t let go. It makes you feel and think about how we treat children with disabilities. It does not preach; it makes you feel. Ginny delivers a baby and is told that it is mongoloid. The doctor only lets her touch the baby briefly and then it is taken away. She is told that her daughter will be placed in a school that can assist with her medical needs for a heart issue. The nurse chastises her for looking at the blood moon. She tells Ginny that she caused this defect in her child. Two years later, her friend, Marsha, calls to tell Ginny that Willowridge is the subject of an expose’. It said that the hospital where her baby is held was found to be filthy and the children neglected. Ginny and Marsha go to the hospital for the first time to see Lucy and find out how she is being cared for. Without spoilers, they ultimately take Lucy from Willowridge and against her husband’s wishes travel to Florida. This book is intense and fascinating. It reads like a documentary but is, in fact, fictional. I think that is the ultimate goal when writing a book such as this. To allow the reader to see and hear everything that is happening. That is exactly what the author did here. I was so involved in story, it was as if I was next to Ginny that whole time. I could not stop reading and finished it in one day. I received an ARC from through NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book.
Bern425 11 days ago
It's 1969 and Ginny Richardson's daughter, Lucy, is born with Down Syndrome. This is a time where institutionalizing children with Down Syndrome was common and the genetic disorder was stigmatized and widely misunderstood. Lucy is taken from her mother at birth and left at Willowridge School where unbeknownst to her mother she and all the other children are living in horrific conditions, being mistreated and ill cared for. When the horrors of Willowridge are exposed two years later, Ginny finally goes to see her daughter and knows she can't leave her there another minute. Soon Ginny finds herself on the run with her son, best friend and Lucy in tow. While I was instantly enamored with Lucy and wanted the best for her, I never completely identified with Ginny. How could she let 2 years go by without ever seeing her daughter? I simply could not fathom ever accepting something like as a mom myself. I expected more to be shared about Willowridge and would have really liked to see that explored fully. It could have been such an emotional yet amazing story if explored from that angle. Google articles and photos of Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, NY where Greenwood got her inspiration for this story. They will break your heart and haunt your dreams! Sadly, this story left me wanting more.
Sandy5 12 days ago
This was a terrific novel. At first, it seemed that Ginny living the perfect life. She stayed at home and cared for her son, Peyton while her husband provided for the family. As an attorney, working with his father, it seemed to me that they had a lot of things going for them. It wasn’t until the birth of Lucy that we really the truth. The year was 1969 and things were winding down after her baby shower. It wasn’t punch that had soaked the couch where Ginny had sat and now, here she was, in the hospital, with a doctor staring down at her. Ginny couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of the doctor and the nurse. A girl? They’re sorry? She has a condition? Mongoloid? Lucy wanted her daughter and she wanted her now! Where was her husband? Ginny struggles to stay awake, the anesthesia takes over and she falls asleep, When she finally awakens, Ginny wants to see her baby and her husband but it’s not time yet and I begin to get nervous as they tell Ginny to get more sleep and off to dreamland she goes. Hours later, when they feel it’s time, her husband and her father-in-law inform Ginny that the baby has been moved to a school where they will love and care for her. The doctor feels that the baby could have problems in the future so this is what they have done. Ginny wants to get the baby BUT it’s too late. Fast forward to 1971, the family dynamics have changed, they’re going through the motions. Ginny hasn’t forgotten her baby and I can feel this void in her life. Her husband doesn’t talk about and their son doesn’t even know about his younger sister. Ab is working longer and is spending more time away from home, and now Peyton doesn’t bother asking when his father will be home. Ginny lives for Peyton and being a good wife. When she receives a phone call from her best friend Marsha, she becomes the person, I felt she was meant to be. Marsha calls and informs Ginny about a reporter who went undercover at Willowridge. The same school that Ginny’s father-in-law put her infant daughter in years ago. When Ginny reads the papers, she’s hopeful that she’ll be united with her daughter with her husband’s help but that’s short-lived, after she talks to her husband. Just like Ginny, I felt that her husband would read the papers and they would go rescue their daughter but the story is complicated. After reading the papers, Ginny just wants her daughter safe. I didn’t think she had it in her but with the help of Marsha, these two women lean against one another to do what they feel is best for Ginny’s children. I enjoyed how the author showed us more of Ginny’s life, how she met her husband, and how this flowed into the present day. It showed a complete picture and a great flow. Ginny and Marsha’s relationship was fantastic and I liked how they figured things out along their journey. Peyton wasn’t a secondary character in this novel but an important one which I thought was needed. I really enjoyed this novel, it was sad at times and it made my skin crawl and other times, it made me smile as I felt hope. The only problem I had with the novel was the last couple scenes in the novel. These scenes were a bit too much for me considering everything that had happened in the novel. 4.5 stars I won a copy of this novel from St. Martin’s Press and Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you. This review was my own opinion.
JHSEsq 12 days ago
Author T. Greenwood sets the story in 1971. Two years earlier, when Ginny and Ab's daughter was born, Ginny only held her child only briefly before she was whisked away. Ironically, Ginny's father died when she was only ten years old and she was raised thereafter by her single, working mother. Both Ginny and Ab allowed their future to be commandeered by Ab's overbearing father. Ab abandons his plans, acceding to his father's demand that he attend law school and, upon graduation, join his father's firm. The elder Richardson supplies the financing for the young couple's home, and Ginny leaves her job at the college library behind in favor of raising their son, Peyton, and spending her days ironing Ab's shirts, preparing meals, and trying to keep her husband and in-laws happy, an impossible goal because of their disapproval of her. Ginny is barely an active participant in her own life, even though she loves her husband and child. Ab does not challenge his father, who insists that Lucy be placed in Willowridge, & Ginny does not fight for her child, instead going along as Ab tries to console her by promising that Lucy will be well cared for. Ab puts Ginny off when she suggests that they, at last, visit Lucy at Willowridge. But Ginny never forgets her daughter. When Ginny's best friend, Marsha, draws her attention to a series of newspaper articles exposing the abhorrent conditions at Willowridge and Ginny learns that a group of parents are filing a class action lawsuit, she comes alive. She defies Ab and enlists Marsha help. They proceed to Willowridge where Ginny manages to check Lucy out of the institution for a weekend visit and begins to get acquainted with her now two-year-old child. Discovering that Lucy has been a victim of neglect at Willowridge finally enrages Ginny and spurs her to action. She soon discovers that she is powerless -- she has no standing to make decisions about Lucy's future. Nonetheless, she and Marsha embark on a dangerous "Thelma and Louise"-type journey. Greenwood accurately portrays a not that long-ago era in America when persons with disabilities were viewed as less than. Greenwood reveals how Lucy has suffered from neglect and how discovering the truth transforms Ginny. Marsha, Ginny's polar opposite, is as fascinating a character. She too is at a turning point in her life and must make a decision, even as the two women continue working their way to Florida where, they hope, their plan will come to fruition and prevent Ginny from being arrested and prosecuted. As the story progresses, Greenwood credibly portrays the strong bond between the two women, as well as Ginny's gradual empowerment and increasing appreciation of and reliance upon her own ingenuity and resourcefulness. Keeping Lucy is, in a very real sense, a coming of age tale. The pace of Keeping Lucy is relentless and Greenwood's holds her reader's interest by placing Ginny and Marsha in a series of predicaments that test their strength and luck. Keeping Lucy will prove eye-opening for readers who are too young to recall those times, and remind those who do remember just how much has been achieved in terms of women's rights, social justice, and the way, as a society, those with special needs and abilities, are perceived and care for. It is an engrossing tale about motherhood, female friendships, & confirmation it is never too late to stand up, be counted, and do the right thing for one's child. Thanks to NetGalley for an Advance Reader's Copy.
TUDORQUEEN 12 days ago
Virginia (Ginny) Richardson worked in a library when she met Abbot, Jr. (Ab). He came from money because his father led a very successful law firm. Abbot Sr. had designs set on his son; he wanted him to go to Harvard Law school and follow in his footsteps. But Ab had other ideas about joining a group of aid workers for six months in Vietnam. When Ab brought Ginny to his family's sparkling and imposing mansion, Abbot Sr. made it clear that she wasn't an ideal candidate for his son's future wife. But, Ab had already secreted his grandmother's 3-carat diamond engagement ring out of the family safe and proposed to Ginny, which she accepted. Then Ginny got pregnant, which helped decide how things were going to go. Despite the less than ideal timing, Ab was elated when he learned Ginny was much so that he began dancing with Ginny's mother in celebration upon hearing the news. Now compromises were to be made with Ab's family. Ab would indeed go to law school, Ab's family would provide a high society country club wedding and honeymoon (when Ginny had dreamed of a quiet, small affair), and a small starter home would be provided for the newly minted family. The dueling chapter timelines are 1969 and 1971, which serve to weave the story along to its poignant conclusion. I grew up in the sixties and seventies, so I am quite drawn to this setting. As the book begins, Ginny, already the mother of 4 year old son Peyton, is heavily pregnant with her second child. She's at the baby shower her mother-in-law Sylvia has thrown for her at the mansion. As the affair is ending, her water breaks, and she's on her way to delivery at the hospital. Back then women were still being "put out" to give birth, and when she wakes up all is not as it should be. What should be a celebratory atmosphere of elation is instead a somber and extremely tense situation with furtive glances. Ginny wants to hold her baby girl and the nurse reluctantly lets her do so. Ginny takes in the gorgeous dark lashes and marvels over her beautiful baby girl, but is told that her child has a severe developmental disability. In blunt terms, Ginny is told Lucy is mongoloid, retarded, and will have heart problems. In accurate medical terms, Lucy has Down Syndrome, a genetic disorder. The next day when Ginny is discharged from the hospital and is looking to hold her baby, Ab sheepishly tells her that Lucy's already been taken away to Willowridge School, where that facility can handle the many challenges Lucy will face. Four year old Peyton has been told that his little sister "went to the angels". For Ginny, it's a dichotomy where she's in deep mourning, but her baby girl didn't actually die. Ginny broaches the subject with Ab about visiting Lucy, but is told that visitation is discouraged before two years have passed. So, Ginny plods through her daily life as a mother and wife, ironing and starching Ab's shirts, caring for Peyton and their newer, more elaborate home (another perk from the in-laws). Then Ginny's best friend Marsha descends upon the home with explosive newspaper articles about Willowridge. There are photos depicting neglect, with unsanitary and inhumane living conditions at this so called "school". Now Ginny is off the rails with concern and immediately wants to visit Lucy. To give away too many more details would be a disservice to the future reader, as they should be discovered and savored on their own. This is an exquisite book.
DiiFL 12 days ago
A mother shattered and overwhelmed by the power of his husband’s family, an innocent baby whose only crime was being born less than perfect and a world who has turned its back on the atrocities of a facility designed to “protect and care for those like Lucy.” It will take a stark and horrifying newspaper expose to finally give Ginny the backbone to take back her two-year-old daughter with Down’s syndrome, but her methods will endanger them both. KEEPING LUCY by T. Greenwood has everything to wrench one’s heart out, to want to reach out to help, to rage at the complacency of public ignorance and how far a mother will go to protect her child, even at the risk of endangering herself and her other child. Where was her husband? Was he cowering at his father’s feet like a whipped dog, all for the almighty dollar and a possible political future? I wanted to love this one, but most of this tale, which, believe it or not begins in the mid twentieth century, 1969, but it just missed for me as two women take to the highway, no destination or plan in mind to stay one step ahead of the law and the family bulldozer of power. There was too much that seemed implausible, too many avenues they could have taken and yet, it became a tragic comedy of risk, broken laws and bad choices, as well as further broken laws to cover their flight. A drama that missed my heart, but sent my nerves into a frenzy of frustration with the characters. I received a complimentary ARC edition from St. Martin's Press! This is my honest and voluntary review.
357800 12 days ago
Unputdownable! Heartbreaking. Horrifying. Intense. The first thing I did after reading KEEPING LUCY was Google Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, New York and was almost sorry I did. Conditions of the so-called school were appalling, the treatment and photos of the forgotten children sickening. I was so glad Greenwood's work of historical fiction kept the horrors to a minimum while still bringing to light the unimaginable history of this institution. As the story begins, it's1969 when an unbelievably naive young mother, Ginny has her second child that is virtually ripped away from her at birth bc of disability and told by her loving, but wimp of a husband from a well-to-do domineering family that her baby girl, Lucy has been sent to a excellent school that would be best for her and her condition, and that Ginny must sever all connection. Then....two years later, her crazy, fearless friend Marsha calls with shocking news about the school that takes the reader and two long time close buddies on a wild and nightmarish journey hoping to save wee Lucy (such a sweetie)....and Ginny from more than just the horrific school. Well written, fast-moving and disturbingly informative. ***Arc provided by St. Martin's Press via NetGalley in exchange for review***
Anonymous 12 days ago
I hated the female lead in this book for the first half of the book. The men just ran over her and did everything their way. Thankfully she grew some balls and took her control back in the second half. It is dreadful hearing how they treated kids at this institution.
Ejaygirl 12 days ago
It’s 1969 and Ginny Richardson goes into labor with her second child at the baby shower hosted by her mother-in-law. After a hazy delivery, she’s informed that her baby daughter, Lucy, has serious health issues and has Down syndrome. Still in a fog aided by sedatives heaped upon her, husband Ab convinces her that the child needs to be institutionalized and isn’t expected to live very long. Ginny only has a few moments with her daughter before she’s taken. Two years later, her best friend, Marsha, shows her a newspaper exposé on Lucy’s institution that is cause for high alarm. It sets Ginny on a path and journey not only to rescue her daughter but awaken herself from an unfulfilled life. Though the story begins with Lucy’s birth, it transitions throughout to Ginny’s life before she married Ab Richardson and thereafter. She’s from a humble background in Amherst, Massachusetts and he’s from a family of privilege in Dover. It helps explain Ginny’s seeming passivity about Lucy’s separation at the time of her birth and Ab’s transformation from an idealist to the stereotypical corporate lawyer in almost total submission to his father’s will. The timing of each change coincided with Ginny’s gradual emergence from complete dependency to more control of her life. Lucy’s story was beyond heartbreaking but she was a symbol for so much more, offering Ginny a lifeline back to who she once was before her father-in-law manipulated her and his son into an unfulfilling life path. I also loved Ginny’s friend, Marsha, who embraced life with gusto and helped provide a glimpse into a Ginny of the past. It was interesting to see how their relationship shifted as Ginny gained strength and Marsha’s vulnerabilities were unmasked. There was no power change, just a coming together of equals. It was easier to embrace Ginny’s transformation because of this knew Marsha wouldn’t have been friends with who she had become. This is a complex story that could lead you to distraction because of Ginny’s decision to remove her daughter from the institute and embark on a road trip to save her. It is equally about how someone can find themself adrift when they don’t follow her or his own heart. Ginny and Ab had such promise as a couple and it was painful to see their descent into a life that didn’t make either of them happy. I also loved how Lucy was presented, not just as a Down syndrome child but as a person in her beauty with all her limitations and strengths. She helped Ginny regain herself and independence, throwing a lifeline to her husband in the meantime. It’s a lovely story in the midst of some real ugliness. (Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)
Jnnlbrd 12 days ago
In 1969 we landed men on the moon and safely returned them to earth. The realm of science and knowledge was greatly enlarged. Unfortunately knowledge was not expanded in all areas of our lives. In 1969, it was common practice for children born with Down’s syndrome to be placed from birth in an institution for the “feeble minded”. Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood is a story of one family who must face this issue when young mother, Ginny, gives birth to her second child, Lucy, a Down’s Syndrome child. Ginny’s wealthy, overbearing in-laws want the child sent to Willowridge, supposedly one of the best for children like Lucy. Ginny doesn’t want this but she is facing pressure from her in-laws and no support from her spineless husband Al. Ginny acquiesces but cannot get Lucy from her thoughts. Daily she longs to see her little girl and to know first hand that she is okay. Years pass when Ginny’s best friend, Marsha, reads an expose about the horrific conditions at Willowridge. Children are neglected and living in squalor. She brings this to Ginny’s attention. Ginny determines to fight for Lucy. Now she must face not only her in-laws and husband, but also the institution that had Lucy. Keeping Lucy is not just the story of a determined young Mother’s fight for her child, it is also the reminder of norms and standards of the not so distant past. Fathers, men and wealth held the reigns of power. A woman may have given birth to a child, but she did not always have the final say in her child’s future. T. Greenwood, who also authored Rust & Stardust, again delivers a gut wrenching, poignant, and heartfelt novel that will cause you to think and feel. You may get upset but you will not regret reading Keeping Lucy. I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley. #NetGalley #KeepingLucy
CynB 13 days ago
Keeping Lucy, by T. Greenwood, captured me from the first page, and drew me in so deeply that I was unaware of turning pages or the passage of time. It is a family drama of love and devotion to your children and your spouse and discovering your boundaries. It is about tragedy and loss. It is about friendship and the generosity of others when you least expect it. Greenwood flawlessly evokes life in the late 60’s and early 70’s. From male dominance as a cultural norm to the absence of cell phones, life was very different back then. It is also a reminder of how bad care could be for the mentally disabled, often resembling the attitudes and asylums of the 18th century. I fell in love with almost all of the characters, including the feckless husband. Even minor characters are portrayed with compassion and nuance. My only regret is that the story wraps a little too neatly…reminding me just a tiny bit of Hallmark movie. Nonetheless, I highly recommend this novel. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read an electronic ARC in exchange for an honest review. It was my pleasure!
Anonymous 13 days ago
A good book with an interesting plot.
Momma_Becky 13 days ago
Keeping Lucy isn't normally my kind of read, but I remember the scandal that inspired this one, so it drew me in. The story absolutely broke my heart while simultaneously infuriating me to no end. I know that places like Willowridge existed. As I said, I remember the scandal, but that didn't make it any easier to read. Ginny's visit to Willowridge doesn't take up as much space on the page as I had expected, but her problems with getting Lucy well and reasonably fit do, and none of it was easy to read about. There were things that happened that bothered me - Marsha's actions and language even around children, Ab's father and his high-handed treatment of his family, that kind of thing - but the things that bothered me the most were Ab's and Ginny's actions at the beginning. I really wanted to give Ab a good shake and tell him to just man up, and it was equally hard to understand Ginny and the way she bent to Ab's wishes, or more accurately, Ab's father's wishes. And then there's Marsha. She's a little over the top in that she's almost everything we think about in a bad role model for children. So much so that she's almost caricature-like, which was the biggest drawback for me. Marsha aside, when I stopped to think about the generation of people here, I wasn't quite so upset with Ab and Ginny. I still wanted to shake Ab, but Ginny's action made a little more sense given the circumstances. The stigma surrounding children like Lucy was a huge factor in life in that time, and certain things were expected of people. That doesn't excuse any of it, but it was what it was, and I believe that stories like this one do have their place. We should always remember our history lest we repeat it. I think Keeping Lucy is going to be one of those books that you either like or you don't. I don't think there's going to be much straddling the fence on this one, especially in this day and age when we know so much more about what's good and bad for a child, or at least we think we do. In the end, I do wish there had been a little more peeling back the layers surrounding Willowridge, but the author has still written a compelling story that I found hard to put down.
LGandhi 14 days ago
What a crazy emotional roller coaster ride I just went on reading this book!!! The story and writing starts off extremely strong, there's a little lull around the 50-60% mark and then picks back up and finishes strong. This story will tug at your heart strings. It was really interesting reading this as a woman today with all my rights and my voice and my backbone. Women in that time period didn't have any of those or the luxury of having a backbone. It's sad. I can never imagine a doctor taking my child out of my hands and putting him in an institution. Over my dead body. But the real tragedy in this story is all the children at Willowridge - how they were treated, neglected and abused. While I understand this book is historical fiction, I feel confident this scenario did happen to many parents and their precious, beautiful children. While the scenario of this plot line is absolutely terrifying, the story itself is captivating, riveting and thought provoking. I had a hard time putting it down. I was Ginny's biggest advocate reading this book. By the end I was so proud of her, her strength, the decisions she made and the risks she took to protect her children. The book would make an excellent book club choice due to the conversations you could have around this subject. I often wondered if I would have made the same choices as Ginny if it were me in the story. The story is crazy, fast moving, disturbing, emotional, passionate, heartwarming and heartbreaking, charming, redemptive, adorable, sad and happy. You will go through every emotion. And while some parts are a little unrealistic, overall this book is a great example of how far we have come as a society and as humans. It also showcase the power of a mother's love. This is a book to check out. My thanks to T. Greenwood, St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 15 days ago
In 1969, Ginny gives birth to a second child, a daughter with Down’s Syndrome. The baby is immediately placed into a facility which was, sadly, the norm at that time in our history. This novel is the story of Ginny finding the strength to reunite with her daughter, stand up to the system, and to the powerful men in her life. That simple description doesn’t begin to do this book justice. Ms. Greenwood has created characters that are more than just believable. Her insight into Ginny’s drive as a mother pulls the reader in deeper and deeper. With the help of a very loyal friend and some kind strangers along the way, Ginny persists. Not everyone is supportive however, including family and some not-so-kind strangers. The plot is engaging, surprisingly fast tempoed given the story line, and had me up late turning the pages as fast as I could. The only thing that slowed me down was that on more than one occasion, I had to put it down and remind myself that it was a novel, these were not real people I was getting so emotional about. Sincere thanks to Netgalley, St, Martin’s Press and author T. Greenwood for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
mississippimomreads 15 days ago
Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood is a precious and engaging book that will tug at your heartstrings! When Ginny gives birth to a baby with Downs Syndrome in 1969, her baby is whisked away from her soon after childbirth, because it would be 'best for the baby to be in a hospital where her special needs will be met.' Ginny tried to stand up and insist that her baby would best be cared for at home, but affluent and powerful family members intervened and Ginny relented. Years pass and when Ginny learns that her baby's medical facility might be less than ideal, she gathers up the courage and unleashes her maternal instinct (previously suppressed) to investigate and to see what she could do to protect her child. What happens next takes us on a wild and compelling ride, as Ginny tries to navigate a now uncertain future for herself and for her children. I have been in a bit of reading slump and have not been thoroughly engaged by so many books I have read, but this book has ended the cycle! Keeping Lucy was engaging, its characters were well written, the time and setting of the book was described thoughtfully without cliché, and I really enjoyed this book! My sincere thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Beths-Books 15 days ago
A tearjerker. This book brings to light the tragic way people with disabilities were treated back in the 60's. As a mother of several children with Autism, it makes me sick to think that just a few decades ago, my boys would be signed over to the state to live in an institution where they would be neglected and abused for their entire lives, and those lives were usually short. This book follows a wonderful mother who saw the joy in having a child and not just the hardships of downs syndrome. She fought for her daughter, against her husband and her family. I could only imagine how hard that would be and I’m glad that society is learning to accept children with differences these days. Loved this book and its story.
LeslieLindsay 16 days ago
How far will one mother go to protect her child? That's the overarching question in KEEPING LUCY about a little girl with Down's syndrome and one horrific institution, set in the early 1970s. I've been a fan of T. Greenwood for some years now and was absolutely thrilled to receive a copy of her forthcoming book, KEEPING LUCY (St. Martin's Press, August 6 2019). It's 1969 and Ginny Richardson has just given birth to her second child, a daughter. But their are murmurs in the delivery room, concerned glances. The child has Down's syndrome; the doctor says it's best for the baby (who Ginny names Lucy) to 'go away,' to a home for the 'feeble-minded.' Ginny is married to a rising-star attorney, Abbot (Ab); his family is quite well-to-do and a bit formidable--they say it's the best thing for the child, for Ginny, for the family. Ginny isn't so sure. She's grieving. She missing her daughter. Ginny's husband says they should just forget about her, as if she had died. A determined mother will not let anything get between her child(ren). Lucy has been living at Willowridge in Massachusetts and when Ginny gets wind of the horrific neglect and squalid conditions, she and her best friend, a nurse, go to rescue Lucy. A heart-pounding journey south ensues, with challenges along the way--broken down car, seedy motels, illness, and more. KEEPING LUCY is written with a maternal urgency, told in a dual-timeline, slipping back to when Ginny and Ab first met, with touches of backstory and sharp character development, long-brewing personal desires, and more. Ginny's character starts off innocent and naive, even clueless at times (she doesn't drive or know how), but slowly her character begins to evolve and she grows immensely. I found the character of little Lucy quite compelling and wanted to know more about her. To me, she felt the most 'real' of any. The ending is satisfying with a sense of resolution, but I felt like there were a few missed opportunities to explore the Willowridge issue in greater depth. Overall, KEEPING LUCY is a near-historical read that will pull at your heartstrings much like SOLD ON A MONDAY meets THE MEMORY KEEPER'S DAUGHTER (Kim Edwards) with touches of Cynthia Swanson's THE BOOKSELLER. L.Lindsay|Always with a Book
Anonymous 16 days ago
Keeping Lucy is a soul-stirring story of a mother’s unconditional love. Set in the early 1970’s, Ginny Richardson gives birth to a baby girl with Down syndrome. While Ginny is under sedation her husband and father-in-law determine the child should be sent to Willowridge, a school for children with special needs. Two years later when a newspaper exposes rampant neglect and cruelty at the institution, Ginny embarks on a pursuit to rescue Lucy the child she has never forgotten and always longed for. Greenwood creates a masterful story of human will in this skillfully written work. The fast pace is exhilarating and engages the reader all the way to the end. Greenwood’s characters are well developed and win your heart, especially little Lucy. This book is also an eye-opening narrative on the treatment of children with special needs in the late twentieth century. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
teachlz 16 days ago
Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Keeping Lucy” by T. Greenwood, St. Martin’s Press, August 6, 2019 WOW!! T. Greenwood, Author of “Keeping Lucy” has written an emotional, controversial, thought-provoking, novel that pulled at my heartstrings. The Genre for “Keeping Lucy” is Fiction, but has such a realistic feel. The timeline for this story is 1969 and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters or events in this novel. The author describes her characters as flawed, confused, each having their own set of problems and conflicts. Ginny lived a very simple life when she met Ab Richardson. The two come from different backgrounds. Ab’s family is wealthy, and his parents” expectations are that he goes to law school. and finally, join his fathers lucrative law-practice. Ab and Ginny get married and they have their son. Ginny and Ab move to a bigger home and prepare for the birth of their daughter. Ginny is totally distraught when she gives birth go a little girl with “Down Syndrome”. She names her Lucy but is told by her doctor that the baby has a heart defect, and won’t live for long. Before she knows it, Lucy is placed in “WIllowridge” a special school for the “feeble-minded”. It is 1969, and there is not as much information about caring for “such children” as there is in 2019. Marcia, a good friend of Ginny brings a newspaper clipping about an investigation into WIllowridge, showing abuse and neglect of children. The worst possible conditions exist there. As a mother, Ginny realizes that she has no choice but to go and save Lucy, no matter what the consequences. I appreciate that the author discusses the importance of caring for disabled children, and the importance of courage, love, and hope. I would highly recommend this thought-provoking novel. I would also suggest you keep Kleenex on hand!!
TJReads 17 days ago
Oh, how I enjoyed this story, at one time, I just smiled, stood up and said “You go girl, stand up for yourself and let the ole guy have it!!” This tale took me down memory lane of the late 60’s and 70’s. I would have been about the same age of the characters in this storyline and could totally relate to how Grace was expected to be the loving stay at home mother while her husband took care of everything, and reversing the charges on a phone call, to funny. I laughed out loud when poor little Lucy hurled in the back seat, and could just envision how it would be traveling across the country in a Dart. There are so many funny scenes in here, but they are just the tip of the iceberg for such a big heartfelt tale of a mother’s love for a small “blessed” child. The chapters switch back and forth from the dating of Grace and Ab to the current situation they are handling with Willowridge. This is a quick read that was hard to put down. There are some times when a book just hits the spot, and this was one of those. I highly recommend and am giving it 5*****’s. I thank St. Martin’s Press and Net Galley for allowing me the privilege of reading this book for my honest review.
brf1948 17 days ago
This is a very special work. It is hard, in our iPhone, WorldWideWeb world with every conceivable question answered at our fingertips, to imagine just how limited the knowledge that parents were exposed to in the 1960s when their child was born with complications. There was no foreknowledge - no prenatal testing, no ultrasounds, to time to get prepared, to research choices. Lucy is the second child of Ginny and Ab Richardson, a comfortably situated family with resources who are good, caring, loving parents to their 4-year-old son Peyton. Their home is in suburban Dover, Massachusetts, and Ad works in his father's law firm in Boston, a 45-minute train ride away. Lucy is born with Down Syndrome. Within twenty-four hours, Ginny still groggy from the anesthesia, Lucy has been removed from the hospital of her birth after her parents were counseled by both their doctor and Ab's family to place Lucy in Willowridge Children's Home in Amherst. They were told repeatedly that they would not be able to care for Lucy themselves, that her needs were more than could be handled at home, that she would never speak, never walk, never learn even basic life skills and the stress of caring for her would destroy their family, would rob Peyton of his youth. This was a safe children's home, they were told, well run by social friends of Abbott Sr. But visiting was not encouraged - not recommended at all as Lucy's probable health problems would more than likely take her within a couple of years and further contact would only break their hearts. Especially Peyton's heart. Ginny is never content with this plan but other than mentioning occasionally that she really wants to visit Lucy, see the world she inhabits, she allows herself to be distracted. Ab is frantically busy working in the city for his father's law firm and life is set in a pattern that doesn't allow time for a trip to Amherst. Genny doesn't drive, doesn't have a sitter for Peyton, is afraid to expose Peyton to a sister he will have to face losing to death before she has a chance to live. Until Ginny's old friend Marsha, a nurse in Amherst, calls with the breaking news about the atrocious conditions, neglect, and abuse, at the Willowridge Children's Home where Lucy, now almost two years old, lives. Martha drives over to Dover and picks up Ginny and Peyton, and they make the trip to find that the newspaper articles are more than true. There is a class action suit being prepared by many of the parents which Ginny could join - until she finds out that her father-in-law is representing the Home in said suit. And that her husband gave up their parental rights to Lucy at her birth. The only thing she can think to do is grab her children, and run... I received a free electronic copy of this historical novel from Netgalley, T. Greenwood, and St. Martin's Press. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.
Anonymous 17 days ago
When Ginny an Ab are expecting their second child, they are thrilled. They already have a son, Peyton, and are looking forward to adding to their family. But their happiness is quickly overshadowed with sadness and despair when their daughter is born with Down Syndrome. Without much consultation with Ginny, decisions are made to send the baby, Lucy, to an institution to live. A few years later, there is a newspaper report about the living conditions of the institution where Lucy has been living. Ginny, and her friend Marsha, decide to save Lucy. But what I’ve learned, is that Ginny was also saving herself and her marriage. I enjoyed the author’s use of Ginny’s memories and reflections to tell the story of her life and marriage. It was interesting to see Ginny's character evolve. This was a fascinating story with real and flawed characters. Thank you Net Galley and St.Martin's Press for the opportunity to review book.
Shelley-S-Reviewer 17 days ago
Such a dramatic move in the first part of the story, one that haunted me. Not sure how many people could have made this decision and lived with it. It touched a very real and sensitive issue and gave you a sense of hope for anyone facing a hardship. It did not take me long to appreciate this story. It seemed like a litany of the flawed decisions of flawed characters. It is about actions taken. These actions have great effect upon their perpetrators and those who love them. My persistence was rewarded. Pain, loss, secrets, wanting to rescue loved ones from the secret that they do not know. These and many more themes persist, weaving a deep story throughout this lifelike narrative. It is not formulaic, but it is real—of the substance of living and loving. This is a riveting story, told in prose that is almost lyrical in its beauty. The suspense is a reader I was sucked in by the compelling writing. It reads very fast, with the reader eagerly turning each page to learn more. In short, a story with heart. The novel shows how one decision, seemingly for the good, carries with it many ramifications. After finishing the book, I thought to would be interesting to know how everyone's lives would have been different had Lucy stayed with her family at home. Another story perhaps? Very touching, poignant.