Keeping Lucy
From the author of Rust & Stardust comes this heartbreaking 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.

Keeping Lucy Details

TitleKeeping Lucy
Author
ReleaseAug 6th, 2019
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
ISBN-139781250164223
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

Keeping Lucy Review

  • Mischenko
    January 1, 1970
    This book captivated me from start to finish!Very mild spoiler(s)It's 1969 and Ginny has just given birth to her second child, a baby girl with down syndrome. The moment she's born, Ginny's doctor tells her that she won't be able to keep the baby, and that her baby will likely die within a few years from a heart condition or something else. Her husband wants to protect the family by sending the baby to a school for children with needs. Ginny doesn't agree with her husband Abbott, but she feels s This book captivated me from start to finish!Very mild spoiler(s)It's 1969 and Ginny has just given birth to her second child, a baby girl with down syndrome. The moment she's born, Ginny's doctor tells her that she won't be able to keep the baby, and that her baby will likely die within a few years from a heart condition or something else. Her husband wants to protect the family by sending the baby to a school for children with needs. Ginny doesn't agree with her husband Abbott, but she feels she has no choice and all of it seems to be facilitated by her horrible, controlling, father-in-law. The baby is snatched away while everyone but Ginny seems to forget it ever happened. Over the next few years, life moves forward, but Ginny hasn't forgotten about her daughter Lucy. It still eats at her as she continues to wonder about the condition of Lucy and if this was the right choice. She tries to be a satisfactory mom and wife regardless of all her concerns. In 1971 a report surfaces with claims that Willowridge--the school where little Lucy lives-- has been neglecting the children. The report is horrible and parents have now filed lawsuits against the school. It rips at Ginny's heart and she knows she has to make haste and get to the school to find out the condition of her daughter. Against her husband's wishes, she heads on a trip with her friend Marsha to examine the conditions of the school and to check on Lucy. It turns out the report is true, and Ginny is shocked. She resolves that there's absolutely no way she can allow Lucy to stay at Willowridge any longer. What will Ginny do? With no job and not much money, how can she fix this situation? How can she be the mother Lucy needs and still care for her six-year-old son without the support of her husband?I felt so much emotion with this story because of how well-developed the characters were. I grew to really love Ginny after her character flourishes and she finally gets enough courage to stand on her own two feet. I could even relate to the in-law pressure. Marsha (Ginny's best friend) was one of my favorites as well. She's the kind of friend everyone wants, one who's there when you need her, and one who would sacrifice anything for you. My only issue with her was her irresponsibility when it came to her reckless behavior. With that said, there were other characters in the story that I had extreme dislike for and even hate at times. I had to reluctantly put the book down more than once and ask myself repeatedly: What in the world is wrong with these people? It felt that real to me. At times the book reminded me of one of my favorite movies: Thelma and Louise, primarily because of Marsha. I couldn't help but think about these two characters and how their 'trip' felt similar. I was on edge often, as the book just kept getting better and better. I was captivated and it felt believable. The writing has a sense of urgency to it and I just couldn't stop until the end. I also loved that the author went back into the characters' histories so that you learn about their family relationships from the beginning. This jumping back and forth between the present 1971 and their past kept it interesting and yet the story remained seamless. My absolute only complaint with this book was the ending which felt really rushed after how drawn out the story was, however, I did appreciate the conclusion with how everything turned out. I was willing to overlook the rush, but it just seemed like a few of the characters have a change of heart in an instant--which isn't impossible--just highly unlikely so quickly after how they'd been throughout their history. It was wrapped up so quickly after all that intensity and just seemed a tad too abrupt. Overall, I really enjoyed the book and think I may have found a new favorite author, even with this being my first book by T. Greenwood. I loved the articulate writing and how I was pulled in to this story. There's nothing better than a book you simply can't put down--one that you can't wait to gush about to everyone. This is that book. I couldn't resist spilling the entire story to my mom after I finished. With themes of love, friendship, courage, fear, family, and most of all, hope, this is a favorite for 2018!5*****Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for sharing a copy of this book with me in exchange for my honest opinions.
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  • Deanna
    January 1, 1970
    My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...Once again T. Greenwood has written a story that kept me riveted as I flew through the pages. Ginny Richardson had always wanted a simple life. Her husband, Ab had said he wanted the same thing. They were going to live in a little cabin in the woods with their children, enjoying nature and each other. Unfortunately, those dreams were shattered early on. “They didn’t know that there would be a whole series of roadblocks on th My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...Once again T. Greenwood has written a story that kept me riveted as I flew through the pages. Ginny Richardson had always wanted a simple life. Her husband, Ab had said he wanted the same thing. They were going to live in a little cabin in the woods with their children, enjoying nature and each other. Unfortunately, those dreams were shattered early on. “They didn’t know that there would be a whole series of roadblocks on that road less traveled, all of them put up by his father.” Now they live in a fancy house not far from her in-law's fancy house. Ginny is pregnant with her second child when her water breaks during her baby shower.After giving birth, Ginny can tell something is wrong. She doesn’t hear the baby crying and everyone is ignoring her. She hears them whispering, “Heart defects, hearing and vision problems. Thyroid malfunctions.” They finally let her hold her daughter and Ginny looks at her, "overwhelmed with nothing but love.” She thinks Lucy is perfect. "She may never talk. She will never, ever live on her own. She will never be a normal girl, Mrs. Richardson”. The doctor won't answer her questions and just tells her to rest. Ginny wonders where Ab is as they plunge yet another syringe into her arm. The next time she wakes, Ab is finally there. His eyes are sad. Ginny asks where Lucy is as Abbott Senior walks in. Ab tells her that his father has found a place for Lucy at Willowridge. He says it is a place where Lucy will be loved and cared for. Ginny is furious…”WE will care for her. I will care for her”. She begs her husband to come to the nursery with her, but Ab tells her that Lucy’s not there.“ Ginny, honey, she’s already gone.” Two years later there is a hole in Ginny's life and in her heart. Her husband has grown distant and is usually home late. Ginny and six-year-old, Peyton often eat alone.But a phone call one evening changes EVERYTHING.Her best friend, Marsha tells her about an exposé a local reporter has written. “It’s Willowridge”. The next day, Marsha brings Ginny the newspaper articles. Ginny can’t believe what she’s reading. What the reporter saw sounds horrific. Ginny tells her husband that he needs to fix this. “Your father was wrong about this place.” She is shocked by Ab's reaction. Ginny decides she must go to Willowridge to see if what she read is true. What she sees there is appalling. She doesn’t know what to do next. But one thing she does know is that she will not abandon her daughter again.Ginny will be in for the fight of her life.“Keeping Lucy” is a well written, gut-wrenching story that I couldn’t put down. I read it with my heart in my throat. The story takes place over many years. We learn about the early years of Ginny and Ab’s relationship and marriage, as well as the two years after Lucy was taken away. The story continues after the awful truth about Willowridge is revealed.This novel was filled with many well-developed characters. Some devious and some that stole my heart. The children’s characters were especially wonderful and I LOVED Ginny’s best friend, Marsha.In my opinion "Keeping Lucy" is a fascinating and moving book about family, guilt, loss, betrayal, and a mother’s unconditional love. I’m excited to read more from this talented author.I'd like to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing writing, amazing story telling and I could not stop reading it! Honestly, I was just going to "preview" a bit of this novel, and planned on reading it next month. That never happened. - I became so absorbed in the story and so invested in the characters that I simply couldn't put the book down !It was such a compelling story line and I just fell in love with little Lucy and truly cared about her and her mom, Ginny. I had to see the story through to the end.It was 1969 and Ginny's baby Amazing writing, amazing story telling and I could not stop reading it! Honestly, I was just going to "preview" a bit of this novel, and planned on reading it next month. That never happened. - I became so absorbed in the story and so invested in the characters that I simply couldn't put the book down !It was such a compelling story line and I just fell in love with little Lucy and truly cared about her and her mom, Ginny. I had to see the story through to the end.It was 1969 and Ginny's baby girl, Lucy was born with Down's Syndrome. Ginny was  tricked  by her high and mighty family into committing Lucy to an institution named  Willowridge . Oh, the horrors that come out about what has been taking place at Willowbridge, prompt Ginny and her bestie, Martha (who I also loved)! to grab baby Lucy and take off on a Thelma and Louise inspired road trip! I found myself cheering these ladies on and wanting to cuddle Lucy myself.I teared up, I took deep breaths, and I delighted in everything Lucy!Okay.....  I Loved Lucy!  xoxoxoHighly recommend you read it and fall in love too.Thanks to St Martin's Press for my ARC to read/review
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    When Ginny Richardson's daughter, Lucy, is born with down syndrome, her husband has her taken to Willowridge, a school for the "feeble minded” Ginny is heartbroken, but her husband convinces her that Lucy being in Willowridge is in everyone's best interest - including Lucy's. Ginny was expected to grieve and move on. But then Ginny's friend Marsha find a newspaper article detailing neglected children, despicable living conditions and poor treatment at Willowridge, Ginny knows she must do somethi When Ginny Richardson's daughter, Lucy, is born with down syndrome, her husband has her taken to Willowridge, a school for the "feeble minded” Ginny is heartbroken, but her husband convinces her that Lucy being in Willowridge is in everyone's best interest - including Lucy's. Ginny was expected to grieve and move on. But then Ginny's friend Marsha find a newspaper article detailing neglected children, despicable living conditions and poor treatment at Willowridge, Ginny knows she must do something, anything to protect her daughter. Against her husband her father-in-law's wishes, Ginny decides to act.I really enjoyed this book which felt as if it were set in the 1950's and not the early 1970's to me. Ginny is very passive in the beginning of the book. She does not drive, she pretty much does as her husband and her father in law want. She really does not appear to have a voice. But kudos to her for finding her voice when she knew her daughter was in a horrible situation. The reader is right there with Ginny and Marsha as the two women go on a journey with Ginny's six-year-old son and Lucy in tow. I really liked the character of Marsha but did take issue with the choices she made in this book. Entertaining and captivating. This book pulled at the heartstrings in many ways. Ginny, as I previously mentioned, did not seem to have a voice at the beginning of this book. By the end of the book, she grew a backbone and was almost a totally different woman. She still wasn't tough as nails, but she found some inner strength and stood up for herself and fought for what she thought was right. Her confidence blossomed as she advocated for her daughter. Lucy, alone and without love at Willowridge, met her mother and older brother and was able to bond with them.I found this book to be a fast read and enjoyed how the story is told mainly in the present time but also in the past, showing how Ginny and Ab met and fell in love. It was nice to see Ab in a different light. He is a man who loves his wife and son. It was a different time then. Was he acting on information he was given, was he embarrassed by Lucy, or was he bowing to his father's pressure? Decide for yourself.An enjoyable read which sucked me in and had me turning the pages. There were some situations which seemed a little implausible, but I was able to overlook them as I was enjoying the story and the epic car/road trip of the women and children. The abuse and neglect of the children is deplorable and the reader will root for Lucy and Ginny. Thank you to St. Martins Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Jaline
    January 1, 1970
    Update: Today, August 6th 2019 - happy publication day for this novel.I have been a fan of T. Greenwood’s writing for quite some time. I have also been disappointed once before, but never to the degree that I was disappointed in this novel.For me, the pacing was off completely. As I was reading, I felt like someone sat a half-dozen young women at a table with several open bottles of wine and glasses all around, then gave them an exercise to come up with ideas for a road trip – and to just write Update: Today, August 6th 2019 - happy publication day for this novel.I have been a fan of T. Greenwood’s writing for quite some time. I have also been disappointed once before, but never to the degree that I was disappointed in this novel.For me, the pacing was off completely. As I was reading, I felt like someone sat a half-dozen young women at a table with several open bottles of wine and glasses all around, then gave them an exercise to come up with ideas for a road trip – and to just write whatever came into their heads. Then, several of these ideas were scooped out of a bin and tossed into this book willy-nilly.I usually bond with characters (at least one or two if not all – warts and all) very quickly when I’m reading. For the first four-fifths of this novel, only the two youngest characters made me feel close to them at all. Sadly, it was mostly because I was so sorry for them: the manner in which they were treated by supposedly responsible, educated adults was appalling.Giving treats to settle a child out of a tantrum? Hello? That is an ideal way to train a child to have tantrums in the first place: reward them for doing so. And cramming their little faces full of greasy food, refined carbs, and sugar. Good heavens, this was the early 1970’s when everyone already knew how those foods contribute to juvenile obesity.Getting drunk and smoking cigarettes while pregnant? Sure, we’ll throw that in, too, just to emphasize how ignorant and ridiculous two educated women can be – one endangering herself and the unborn child, the other playing the part of the enabler.Am I judging too harshly? I don’t think so. None of these incidents were resolved. None of them were redeemed. So even though the last 15% of the book was good, it was definitely not great – far too many events, mistakes, and poor judgment calls were left hanging.The premise of this novel held such promise, and as mentioned, the ending was good. However, that is simply not enough to call it even a fair-to-middling novel. I felt tempted to award 3 Stars for the sake of nostalgia – the times when this author wrote some incredible books – and again, because the premise held such potential. However, the execution right from the very start was so juvenile and unbelievable that I can’t in all honesty bump it up past 2 Stars.With gratitude to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this novel. Its publication date is August 06, 2019.
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  • *TUDOR^QUEEN*
    January 1, 1970
    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. 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 pregnant...so 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- for this is an exquisitely written story. Let me just say that Ginny and Marsha take off, in "Thelma & Louise" like fashion (if you haven't seen that movie, I highly recommend it) on a mission to find Lucy. There are a multitude of lessons of love told in the pages of this book. In 1972 investigative reporter Geraldo Rivera did an expose about the Willowbrook school that shocked the nation and ignited change in federal civil rights legislation for people with disabilities. Undoubtedly, this book was based on Willowbrook. Today, we see people with Down Syndrome living with their families, not shut away in institutions. On a personal note, my brother-in-law who is in his fifties lives with my husband, college-age son and I. He used to live downstairs with my mother-in-law, but when she passed away we gladly took him into our home. He does not have Down Syndrome, but has other mental disabilities as well as a profound speech impediment. He is a handsome, gentle, loving, well-mannered and very well-liked individual in our community. He loves to crochet blankets, do puzzles, paint by number and play video games. He used to be a diaper changing assistant when my mother-in-law watched our infant son! He keeps busy with regular parks and recreation activities our town provides for ability challenged residents. He also has won too many ribbons and trophies to count participating in Special Olympics. He goes on many wonderful trips with these programs. He's also a great help around the house with vacuuming and other home improvement projects, where my husband engages his enthusiastic assistance. Not to mention his mastery of the Keurig coffeemaker, when he gladly makes me a perfect cup of coffee. I digress from the book, but in summation the interaction between Lucy and Ginny, where she first received real love, was a conduit to learning. My heart is full after reading this book. I read it within two days, which is unheard of for me. It is probably the best book that I've read this year, and I highly recommend it.Thank you to St. Martin's Press who provided an advance reader copy via NetGalley.
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  • Norma * Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyable, unputdownable, fascinating!Oh my goodness! This book was so good and so beautifully written. T. Greenwood is one of my absolute favourite authors and I never hesitate in picking up one of her novels. A totally absorbing and captivating read from start to finish. Would recommend!Thank you so much to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press & T. Greenwood for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    For those of us of a certain age, 1969 can seem like forever ago and recent history. But a lot has changed in the last fifty years, especially when it comes to the treatment of Down’s Syndrome children. Even the name. I remember when they were called Mongoloids and that shunting them away was the normal practice. This gripping book deals with Ginny, who gives birth to such a child. Initially, she goes along with her husband and his family, who insist the child be placed in a special “school”. Bu For those of us of a certain age, 1969 can seem like forever ago and recent history. But a lot has changed in the last fifty years, especially when it comes to the treatment of Down’s Syndrome children. Even the name. I remember when they were called Mongoloids and that shunting them away was the normal practice. This gripping book deals with Ginny, who gives birth to such a child. Initially, she goes along with her husband and his family, who insist the child be placed in a special “school”. But when an expose makes clear the squalid conditions there, she changes course. A lot of things can tear a marriage apart. But this must be one of the worst, the inability to agree on what to do with a child with mental disabilities. Even worse when your husband seems to be just bending to his family’s wishes. Throughout the book, there are flashbacks to Ab and Ginny pre-Lucy which provide the background of exactly how they ended up giving up Lucy. Greenwood gives us a wonderful sense of the time. Ginny, like so many women in that time, finds her voice and her backbone as the book progresses. The ending is fairly predictable. This book is based on a real facility and the horrors that occurred there. I wish the author had given us some background on what drew her to the story.My thanks to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.
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  • JanB
    January 1, 1970
    I very much enjoyed Rust and Stardust, the author’s last book, so I was excited at the opportunity to read this one. When Ginny’s second child is born, a daughter with Down Syndrome, the baby is whisked away by her husband and sent to a residential home, Willowbrook. Ginny never laid eyes on her daughter or held her. She grieves the baby she never met but is subservient to her husband to a fault and the subject is never discussed in their household. Two years later the school is the subject of a I very much enjoyed Rust and Stardust, the author’s last book, so I was excited at the opportunity to read this one. When Ginny’s second child is born, a daughter with Down Syndrome, the baby is whisked away by her husband and sent to a residential home, Willowbrook. Ginny never laid eyes on her daughter or held her. She grieves the baby she never met but is subservient to her husband to a fault and the subject is never discussed in their household. Two years later the school is the subject of an investigative article alleging abuse and neglect. Ginny decides to go on a road trip with a friend to rescue her daughter and takes her young son with her.I’m sorry to say I found the writing simplistic with tired tropes and eye-rolling scenes. In addition there were several scenes that were medically inaccurate. Simple things that a quick google search could have corrected.Ginny was infuriatingly passive, naïve and clueless. It was 1971 people! She drove me nuts. And her companion was supposed to be her opposite, progressive and liberated. How do we know she’s such a liberated lady? She’s promiscuous, smokes, and curses a lot, including in front of the children. Oh and she’s a nurse. How’s that for a cliched stereotype? (full disclosure: I am a nurse). Reading this book was like reading a Lifetime movie, a bad one. I gave up at 75% and just didn’t care anymore. I guessed how it would end and my friend Marialyce confirmed that I was correct. Heartbreakingly, places like Willowbridge, the school for the mentally disabled did exist. An institution in New York, Willowbrook, was the inspiration for this story, a place Robert Kennedy called a “snake pit”. He is quoted as saying the people living in the overcrowded facility were “living in filth and dirt, their clothing in rags, in rooms less comfortable and cheerful than the cages in which we put animals in a zoo.” Thankfully, it closed in 1987 and led to legislation for people with disabilities.I wish the focus of this book had been on facilities like this and the treatment and prejudices that surrounded the mentally disadvantaged. Sadly, I can’t recommend this one. Many thanks to my friend Marialyce for buddy reading this one with me and sending me links to articles about Willowbrook. ** I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    Ginny, wife of wealthy lawyer Ab, gives birth to a Down Syndrome baby girl and barely gets to touch her before the baby is whisked off to Willowridge, a special school for the “feeble-minded." Ginny has no say in the matter and is heavily medicated so she can't even give voice to the fact that she wants to keep and raise her baby. Ab's rich, big time lawyer dad manipulates the entire situation so that the problem of Lucy is swept under the rug and Ginny's mother in law takes it upon herself to t Ginny, wife of wealthy lawyer Ab, gives birth to a Down Syndrome baby girl and barely gets to touch her before the baby is whisked off to Willowridge, a special school for the “feeble-minded." Ginny has no say in the matter and is heavily medicated so she can't even give voice to the fact that she wants to keep and raise her baby. Ab's rich, big time lawyer dad manipulates the entire situation so that the problem of Lucy is swept under the rug and Ginny's mother in law takes it upon herself to tell Ginny and Ab's four year old son that his sister is "with the angels" now. Ab allows Ginny to think that they will visit the baby after she's been at Willowridge for thirty days but that never happens and Ginny gradually accepts the fact that she'll never see her daughter, who she thinks has heart problems and will not live long. Still, Ginny thinks of her daughter every day and her life has a huge hole in it, with little Lucy missing and Ginny not being able to even mention her name to her husband, who feels they should just put Lucy in the past. Ab works long, long hours while Ginny keeps house and tends to their son Peyton. When Lucy would be reaching her second birthday, Ginny's best friend Marsha shows her an ongoing expose of Willowridge, detailing the horrible conditions of the facility. Ginny and Marsha go to the school to check Lucy out for a long weekend and that's when they see for themselves that the expose is true and just touching the surface of the abuses that the children residents endure. Ginny lets Ab know what is happening at the school but finds out that his dad's law firm is representing the school in a lawsuit against it, due to the abuses. Ab sides with his dad and the law firm and demands that Lucy be taken back to the facility. This is when Ginny and Marsha take off on a road trip with Peyton and Lucy in tow, to avoid sending Lucy back to her squalid and abusive life at Willowridge. Ginny has always been so passive and accepting of her lot in life, a rich life but a life that allowed her to have no say in what happened. So I admire her for taking charge and deciding that she will be raising Lucy from now on...this was a baby that was taken from her without her permission and now she is turning things around. Ginny is ill prepared for this battle since she has never driven, never had any money of her own, and about the only decision she was ever allowed to make her in marriage was what to buy at the grocery store. Little Lucy was full of parasites, internally and externally and I was frustrated that Ginny didn't make this situation a priority, instead trying to get her son in the bathtub with Lucy and making him sleep with Lucy, so that he soon has head lice too. I know I was overly distracted by the parasite situation but I think that it signified that little Lucy needed some kind of medical attention immediately. It is only later that we find out the extent of Lucy's medical problems. I enjoyed the book and was so sad about the conditions that Lucy and others were forced to endure. This story just addresses Lucy's fate and I like the resolution of the story although it required a complete about face of a couple of people to pull it off. Still, I wouldn't have wanted the story to end any other way and it was great seeing passive Ginny pull out all stops for her little girl. Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC.
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  • BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars for Greenwood's story of betrayal, love and forgiveness. 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 t 3.5 stars for Greenwood's story of betrayal, love and forgiveness. 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. Thank you to T. Greenwood, St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an arc of this book.
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  • Felicia
    January 1, 1970
    After reading the synopsis for this book I thought "YESSSSSS... she's going to do with the story behind Willowbrook that she did with the Sally Horner story in Rust and Stardust".Yeahhhhhh... that'd be a big nope. Instead, the most interesting aspect of this story, Willowbrook State School (aka Willowridge in this story) is barely explored. Instead we get melodramatic unrelatable characters in predictable situations. I want to know about Lucy! I mean, her name is in the title after all. The star After reading the synopsis for this book I thought "YESSSSSS... she's going to do with the story behind Willowbrook that she did with the Sally Horner story in Rust and Stardust".Yeahhhhhh... that'd be a big nope. Instead, the most interesting aspect of this story, Willowbrook State School (aka Willowridge in this story) is barely explored. Instead we get melodramatic unrelatable characters in predictable situations. I want to know about Lucy! I mean, her name is in the title after all. The star of the book is the least fleshed out character.Tell me what Lucy has endured because of the decision by her parents. Perhaps tell her story through the voice of a disheartened caregiver. I wish the author had placed the spotlight on the REAL victim in this book rather than the unsympathetic parents that willingly relinquished custody of their child.To say that I am disappointed is a colossal understatement.I received an ARC from Jordan Hanley with St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    A captivating and thought-provoking read. It is difficult to imagine that the time when women were powerless to this extent is not that far away (in some places or in some aspects it is still here with us).Ginny Richardson is told that her newborn daughter Lucy has Down Syndrome and a heart condition that will not permit her to live long. Ginny's husband Ab, under pressure from his overbearing wealthy lawyer father, agrees to place Lucy in an institution for 'feeble-minded'. Ab tries to persuade A captivating and thought-provoking read. It is difficult to imagine that the time when women were powerless to this extent is not that far away (in some places or in some aspects it is still here with us).Ginny Richardson is told that her newborn daughter Lucy has Down Syndrome and a heart condition that will not permit her to live long. Ginny's husband Ab, under pressure from his overbearing wealthy lawyer father, agrees to place Lucy in an institution for 'feeble-minded'. Ab tries to persuade Ginny that this will be in Lucy's and everybody else's interests and she just has to grieve and then move on.Ginny's heart daily goes to her daughter but for two long years she doesn't see her (something I find both heart-wrenching and incredibly passive), until her friend Marsha tells her about a newspaper article exposing deplorable conditions children in Willowbridge live in. Ginny decides to check the situation and is shocked to see that it was true. She signs Lucy out (effectively kidnapping her daughter) and embarks on a road trip together with Peyton, her six-year-old son, and Marsha, her larger than life, reckless, swearing, big-hearted, loyal friend. Ginny has to grow a backbone in order to protect her children.The story is beautifully-written (although perhaps a bit melodramatic, how can it be anything else with this plot that is bound to tug at your heartstrings?) and is essentially about love, guilt, family, and friendship. Ginny has to go through an enormous character evolution in short time to become stronger and capable to fight for what is right.Thank you to Edelweiss and St.Martin's Press for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
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  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    2 stars. In 1969, Ginny and Ab Richardson’s second child, a daughter named Lucy, is born with Down Syndrome. Explaining that she will have major health issues and need specialized care, Abs’ wealthy and powerful parents convince Ginny to send her daughter to live at Willowridge, a school for the “feeble-minded”. Ginny is tormented by this heart-wrenching decision, aching for her daughter every single day. Two years after giving Lucy up, Ginny’s best friend, Marsha, stumbles across an article exp 2 stars. In 1969, Ginny and Ab Richardson’s second child, a daughter named Lucy, is born with Down Syndrome. Explaining that she will have major health issues and need specialized care, Abs’ wealthy and powerful parents convince Ginny to send her daughter to live at Willowridge, a school for the “feeble-minded”. Ginny is tormented by this heart-wrenching decision, aching for her daughter every single day. Two years after giving Lucy up, Ginny’s best friend, Marsha, stumbles across an article exposing Willowridge for neglect and hazardous living conditions. After being kept apart from Lucy for two years, Ginny springs into action to rescue her young daughter.This story sounded fascinating. I loved the author’s previous novel, Rust & Stardust, so I was sure this would be an enjoyable reading experience. Unfortunately, this didn’t work for me, on any level. Based on the title and the blurb, I was expecting to hear Lucy’s story. I wanted to understand the history of Willowridge and how it affected Lucy. While we do get to understand some of the school’s situation, it wasn’t a large part of the story. The novel focused more so on a wild road trip that Ginny and Marsha take with Ginny’s two young children. I couldn’t connect with Ginny and/or Marsha and felt that their decisions didn’t feel genuine or suitable for the situation. As sad as Lucy’s situation was, I didn’t feel for Ginny. In the end, this seemed like more of a wild adventure, rather than a mother’s determination to do what was right for her daughter. For me, the journey didn’t align with the seriousness of the topic and I felt cheated out of what the story could have been. I wanted to know and feel far more than this book delivered.This was a Traveling Sister read. I am the outlier with my feelings as everyone else enjoyed this story much more than I did. I suggest checking out the many raving reviews of this novel, as I was simply not the proper audience. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!Expected date of publication: August 6, 2019
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  • Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
    January 1, 1970
    This heart-warming tale of motherhood, families, and the female voice is so beautiful–it captured my heart!About the BookThis past week I finished reading T. Greenwood’s novel Keeping Lucy, which tells the story of a mother who is learning to rediscover her voice and follow her instincts. Set in the 1970s, Ginny is advised to send her second child Lucy to a home for children born with downs syndrome. She’ll need special care, particularly because of a heart defect that likely means Lucy won’t li This heart-warming tale of motherhood, families, and the female voice is so beautiful–it captured my heart!About the BookThis past week I finished reading T. Greenwood’s novel Keeping Lucy, which tells the story of a mother who is learning to rediscover her voice and follow her instincts. Set in the 1970s, Ginny is advised to send her second child Lucy to a home for children born with downs syndrome. She’ll need special care, particularly because of a heart defect that likely means Lucy won’t live out of childhood.Two years later, Ginny reads a shocking news story about the home they sent Lucy to, speaking of unclean living conditions and poor care of the children there. Ginny checks Lucy out for a weekend trip, and the more she discovers about Lucy’s mistreatment, the more certain she is that she can’t bring her daughter back. But Ginny’s husband Ab isn’t exactly on the same page. Ginny follows her instincts as a mother, crossing state lines and falling in love with the daughter that she once allowed to be taken from he, and who now may no longer be hers to keep…ReflectionThis book was such a beautiful story! Ginny’s life and struggles really spoke to the feminist in me. What I loved most about her story was that Ab wasn’t a bad guy or even a bad father. It would be easy to take the story there, to make it how Ginny realizes who Ab truly is. But the fact remains that Ab is filled with love for Ginny and his family. And like her, Ab is doing his best to make good decisions for the family. I loved learning about Lucy through Ginny’s eyes. It was easy to fall in love with Lucy! Despite her illness, Lucy is filled with love, curiosity, and light. Ginny herself is questioning her path in life. Did she make the right decision to marry and stay at home with the kids? Despite how much she loves Ab, Ginny is on the cusp of the women’s movement, and she’s questioning whether she slipped into the traditional gender role that she admittedly was happy with. But in doing so, maybe she lost her voice a bit.This book is the type of story that is good for my heart. Beautiful!Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for my copy. This book is on sale now!
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. In the same vein as other reviewers, I was completely captivated by the author's previous novel, Rust and Stardust and had selected this book as one of my most eagerly anticipated reads of 2019. It DID NOT disappoint. Keeping Lucy shows how far a mother will go to protect the children that she loves. It's 1969 and main protagonist, Ginny is devasted when her father in law makes the unilateral de Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. In the same vein as other reviewers, I was completely captivated by the author's previous novel, Rust and Stardust and had selected this book as one of my most eagerly anticipated reads of 2019. It DID NOT disappoint. Keeping Lucy shows how far a mother will go to protect the children that she loves. It's 1969 and main protagonist, Ginny is devasted when her father in law makes the unilateral decision that Ginny and his son, Ab, will not raise their newborn daughter. Fearing that a child with Down Syndrome will ruin the family image, the baby girl is sent to a state insitution. Two years pass and Ginny cannot get past the pain of not knowing her child. When a childhood friend alerts of the condition of the state institution, Ginny takes her young son and heads to find her young daughter. Soon Ginny and her best friend become a little bit like Thelma and Louise as they head out on the road with the children, but there are people who will do anything to stop them. What I Thought Although I had to raise an eyebrow at some of the antics and suspend some disbelief( it is after all a fictional story) at some of the situations, I cannot deny that I was absolutely engrossed in my reading experience. I much preferred the present storyline rather than the flashbacks that did seem a bit repetitive in the angle of Ab's father. I certainly rooted for Ginny as she and her best friend, Marsha take a road trip with the two children in tow. The ending certainly had me in tears!Goodreads Review 24/07/19Expected Publication 06/08/19
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    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 T. 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's 1969 whe 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 T. 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's 1969 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-do-do domineering family that her baby girl, Lucy has been sent to an excellent school that would be best for her and her condition, and Ginny....must sever all connection. Then, two years later, her crazy, fearless friend Marsha calls with shocking news about the school that ultimately takes the reader and two long-time friends 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***
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  • Jonetta
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 relationship...you 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. Posted on Blue Mood Café(Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    It’s the late 1960s in Dover, Massachusetts, when Ginny Richardson’s beloved daughter, Lucy, who has Down Syndrome, is taken away from her. Her husband does the taking, sending little Lucy to Willowridge, a school for those with disabilities (though it wasn’t worded quite this way back then).Ab, Ginny’s husband, tells her to grieve for Lucy as if she has died, and they need to move on. That completely broke my heart.Two years go by, and some articles are written exposing Willowridge as an unsafe It’s the late 1960s in Dover, Massachusetts, when Ginny Richardson’s beloved daughter, Lucy, who has Down Syndrome, is taken away from her. Her husband does the taking, sending little Lucy to Willowridge, a school for those with disabilities (though it wasn’t worded quite this way back then).Ab, Ginny’s husband, tells her to grieve for Lucy as if she has died, and they need to move on. That completely broke my heart.Two years go by, and some articles are written exposing Willowridge as an unsafe place for children to live. Marsha, Ginny’s best friend, shares the articles with her. Ginny is convinced she has to pick up Lucy along with Marsha. Ginny is then on the lam and fighting with Ab and his family for the right to keep her daughter.As ever, T. Greenwood has penned an emotional and thought-stirring read where her characters have big hearts, and you fall in love with them. I understood Ginny’s pain and despair, and everyone needs a best friend like Marsha. Lucy was drawn with so much love and care. I’ll never forget her depiction.Overall, Keeping Lucy is a sensitively told story about the power of a mother’s love for her daughter.I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    When I saw that this author had a new book, I hurried to request it, as I am a fan of a couple of her previous books.This one was just mediocre for me.A young married couple, quite well off, have a young son and the second child, Lucy, is born with Down’s Syndrome and at this time in history, 1969... many were institutionalized. This is NOT what Ginny, the mother wanted.. her husband signed the child over to the state, under pressure from his own father.This story is about a mother’s quest to ge When I saw that this author had a new book, I hurried to request it, as I am a fan of a couple of her previous books.This one was just mediocre for me.A young married couple, quite well off, have a young son and the second child, Lucy, is born with Down’s Syndrome and at this time in history, 1969... many were institutionalized. This is NOT what Ginny, the mother wanted.. her husband signed the child over to the state, under pressure from his own father.This story is about a mother’s quest to get and keep her daughter, and keep her safe and loved.We are given a glimpse into the horrendous state of the institution.Thank you to Netgalley and St Martins Press for the Arc!
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    A heartwarming story of a mother’s love and redemption.SUMMARYGinny Richardson‘s was devastated when her newborn infant girl that she named Lucy, was ripped away from her just minutes after her birth. It was October 1969 and Lucy had been born with Down’s Syndrome. The doctor, Lucy’s husband, Ab and Lucy’s powerful father-in-law thought it was for the best that Lucy be taken away to Willowridge immediately, a special school for the “feeble minded.” Ab tried to convince Ginny they should just mov A heartwarming story of a mother’s love and redemption.SUMMARYGinny Richardson‘s was devastated when her newborn infant girl that she named Lucy, was ripped away from her just minutes after her birth. It was October 1969 and Lucy had been born with Down’s Syndrome. The doctor, Lucy’s husband, Ab and Lucy’s powerful father-in-law thought it was for the best that Lucy be taken away to Willowridge immediately, a special school for the “feeble minded.” Ab tried to convince Ginny they should just move on, they had a son to think about and besides they could have other children. LTwo years later, Ginny’s best friend Marsha shows her a series of articles exposing Willowridge as a hell-on-earth. The walls were smeared with human waste, the kitchen was full of cockroaches and the food was inedible. Photos showed the children were left unattended and huddled in corners, sewage spills and elevators were filled with dirty laundry. After seeing the photo’s Ginny knows she can’t leave her daughter there one more day. With Ginny’s six-year-old son Peyton, Ginny and Marsha drive to the school to see Lucy for themselves. What they find sets them 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 a domineering father-in-law for the right to keep Lucy. REVIEWKEEPING LUCY is a moving book about family, loss, betrayal, and a mother’s love, and redemption. My favorite part was when Ginny walked out of Willowridge with her daughter in her arms, and later when Lucy spoke her first word—“moon.” This is an ironic coincidence given that the moon, or more precisely the “blood moon” was according to superstition, responsible for Lucy’s curse. Yet here is little Lucy proving to all she is not cursed. While reading about a child with Down Syndrome might be a difficult subject for some, the theme of the story is really about a mother’s love for her child and her willingness to go to battle to keep her child. It’s a heart-warming story that every mother should read. We are captivated by Ginny’s realization that it’s never to late to do the right thing. Author, Tammy Greenwood skillfully transports us to 1969 in Dover, Massachusetts and from there it’s a wild and crazy road trip two years later from Willowridge, to Atlantic City, to the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains to a mermaid show in Florida. Ginny and Marsha are brave for going on the run, and while they don’t alway make the best decisions on the road they are doing their best. The road trip reminds me a little of the Thelma and Louise movie. Little Lucy is the star of the book, she steals your heart with every word she speaks. Keeping Lucy is a gem of a book. Greenwood is the author of over twelve novels, most recently RUST and STARDUST (2018) and THE GOLDEN HOUR (2017). I have read and reviewed both these books and am quite impressed by Greenwood’s writing and ability to tell a story. She has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Thanks to Netgalley, Tammy Greenwood and St. Martin’s Press for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Publisher St. Martin’s Press Published August 6, 2019Review www.bluestockingreviews.com
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    Let me preface my review by saying I have loved everything this author has written. From her Bodies of Water to Rust and Stardust, she has managed to ensnare me into a web of excellent reading, writing, and story telling. So, you can imagine my disappointment when reading this book and finding it came up quite short in my expectations.The background of the story is traumatic. From the early fifties to the late seventies, children and people with mental disabilities were shunted into institutions Let me preface my review by saying I have loved everything this author has written. From her Bodies of Water to Rust and Stardust, she has managed to ensnare me into a web of excellent reading, writing, and story telling. So, you can imagine my disappointment when reading this book and finding it came up quite short in my expectations.The background of the story is traumatic. From the early fifties to the late seventies, children and people with mental disabilities were shunted into institutions that were oftentimes vile and inhumane. The living conditions were deplorable and the people were ultimately abandoned and left to the wiles of the administrators and staff. I can well remember the scandal of Willowbrook, Staten Island, New York so when I saw what this book was about I felt such a connection.Unfortunately, this book's presentation left me feeling cold. The characters were shallow lending little to the story of young Down's Syndrome child, Lucy, being taken at birth to an institution by her father, at the behest of his father, because this child would cast a pallor over a family that was destined to go into politics.Later when the mother sets out to find her daughter, with her best friend, a foul mouthed side kick, they endeavor to find the child, Lucy, and buck the system, the in laws, and the world that tried to shun our mentally incapacitated people. The mother's character was never presented as a strong protagonist. She was so intimidated by her husband initially and her father in law, and one had to wonder how she ever let this newborn go and not have any interaction with her for two years. The best friend could never seem to utter a few words without some choice four letters words escaping her lips. It just didn't work especially because there was another child always present in the car that the ladies used to find and travel together to find and then take Lucy setting into motion the idea that Lucy was kidnapped.So, sorry to say this story just did not work for me. The situation, while being like a real life occurrence, just did not have that ultimate kick and emotional interaction that I have always found present in this author's multiple books. My thanks to the author, the publishers, and Net Galley for an advanced copy of this bookA special thanks to my book partner and cherished friend, Jan, who read this book with me. We both came to an agreement on this book.
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !! Dover, Massachusetts October 1969 ”Later she would blame the moon. That full, blood moon that pierced the night sky like a bleeding bullet hole.” ”Fall arrived early that year she was pregnant with Lucy, the heat of summer gone overnight, frost lacing the windows like Mother Nature’s curtains.” It was a few weeks before Halloween, the air had that chill to it, and the leaves were changing, falling to the ground in some places when there was a baby shower given for this n !! NOW AVAILABLE !! Dover, Massachusetts October 1969 ”Later she would blame the moon. That full, blood moon that pierced the night sky like a bleeding bullet hole.” ”Fall arrived early that year she was pregnant with Lucy, the heat of summer gone overnight, frost lacing the windows like Mother Nature’s curtains.” It was a few weeks before Halloween, the air had that chill to it, and the leaves were changing, falling to the ground in some places when there was a baby shower given for this new child that would soon come into the world. Ginny was hoping for a girl, but mostly for everything to be okay. Ab hoped for another boy, their Peyton needed a brother. She’d heard all of the wives tales of full moons bringing on labor, but didn’t give it much thought until she began feeling twinges during the baby shower, and even then she didn’t worry about rushing off, at least until her water broke just as most of the guests were leaving.On the drive to the hospital with Ab, she glances up at the moon, and makes a wish on it that everything will be okay.When she wakes up from the ether, she senses that the room is too quiet, too many hushed voices. Eventually, her child, a girl, is handed to her and the doctor tries to tell her in her stupor his opinions of the many reasons this child is less than perfect, that she will never be normal. And then she’s back under the effects of ether. ”Ether dreams. Like Alice falling down that rabbit hole, tumbling, end over end.” By the time she woke, Lucy was gone. When she asks where her baby is, wants to see her, she receives another injection that knocks her out. Again.Two years pass, and the “school” where Lucy was sent makes the headlines. While, in real life, Jane Kurtin was one of the first to cover the disgusting conditions these people lived in, it was an expose by Geraldo Rivera who brought the news of the scandalous conditions at Willowbrook to the attention of the nation, showing footage of the filth and describing the smell for the readers / viewers: “It smelled of filth, it smelled of disease, and it smelled of death.” Ginny’s oldest friend gives her the news to read, and they decide they must rescue Lucy from this hellhole. This was a difficult story to read, and not only because of the horrible conditions at Willowbrook. The first half seemed to not really go much of anywhere for me, but the second half picked up a bit – for me, and eventually I found myself engaged in the story with minor exceptions. Little jaunts out of the main story that seemed to serve no purpose other than perhaps to add more drama, but it wasn’t drama really related to the actual story. They sign Lucy out for a holiday weekend, and never return, actions made at her friend’s urging to protect Lucy. And yet, once on the road, the friend makes choices that put them at risk – which seemed inconsistent to me. I’ve loved every book by this author that I’ve read prior to this, but while there was some occasionally lovely writing, it wasn’t enough for me to love this. Did I enjoy this overall? If I were to rate the first half separately from the last half, I would give the first half 2 stars, and the second half 4 stars.Pub Date: 6 Aug 2019Many thanks for the ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press
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  • Judy Collins
    January 1, 1970
    Check out my special Q&A Elevator Interview with T. Greenwood! Meet the master storyteller, learn more about the inspiration behind this extraordinary novel, KEEPING LUCY, down syndrome, plus fun facts about the author and more! Sparked by the horrific conditions at Belchertown State School for the Feebleminded, a state-run institution in Belchertown, Massachusetts. A perfect blending of fact and fiction. I loved KEEPING LUCY! Many of you have read (2018) T. Greenwood's award-winning, Ru Check out my special Q&A Elevator Interview with T. Greenwood! Meet the master storyteller, learn more about the inspiration behind this extraordinary novel, KEEPING LUCY, down syndrome, plus fun facts about the author and more! Sparked by the horrific conditions at Belchertown State School for the Feebleminded, a state-run institution in Belchertown, Massachusetts. A perfect blending of fact and fiction. I loved KEEPING LUCY! Many of you have read (2018) T. Greenwood's award-winning, Rust & Stardust, a fictional retelling of the kidnapping said to have inspired Nabokov's classic Lolita. My Top Books of 2018. T. Greenwood returns with KEEPING LUCY, a story once again inspired by true devastating events. "The Moon for all her light and grace Has never learned to know her place."—Robert FrostIn 1969, A mother heartbroken when Lucy, born with Down Syndrome is snatched from her and institutionalized. Two years later, she discovers the school, Willowridge has neglected the children and her worst nightmares become a reality.With her six-year-old son Peyton in tow, Ginny and her best friend, Marsha takes Lucy. Racing from their home in Massachusetts, they travel through the beaches of Atlantic City, the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, to a roadside mermaid show in Florida.From social injustice to overcoming insurmountable obstacles, including her husband, legalities, authorities, and her high powered father-in-law attorney representing the school. In KEEPING LUCY, Greenwood presents a searing portrait of how far a mother's love can take her. You are going to fall in love with little Lucy and admire the courage of Ginny and Marsha while following this entertaining and suspenseful road trip. Based on actual events from a tragic time in history, a remarkable reimagining, and blending of fact and fiction. Told with compassion, lyrical prose, pitch-perfect pace, and memorable characters —only T. Greenwood can master. These characters linger long after the book ends. I particularly loved Ginny's friend, Marsha. She and Ginny are opposites; however, they balanced one another. What a great friend to have especially when Ginny did not drive. They risked it all. And the memorable road trip and all the people (strong women) they met along the way. Reminds me of Catherine Ryan Hyde's Take Me with You and Sonja Yoerg's True Places. KEEPING LUCY brilliantly showcases a woman who courageously stood up to fight for her rights and her daughter against all odds, in a time when their voices were seldom heard. T. Greenwood once again is at the top of her game! Highly Recommend! Top Books of 2019 An avid fan, having the pleasure of reading all her books—each year she continues to be on my Top Authors and Books of the Year. I hope you enjoy KEEPING LUCY as much as I did.  JDCMustReadBooks A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy.Down Syndrome: In the US, until the 1980s and in some cases as late as the 1990s, the way in which people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities were treated represents a shameful chapter of inhumanity and discrimination in our country. They were kept in inhumane institutions often as infants or young children where they were deprived of education, healthcare, and even plumbing. They suffered cruel and unusual punishment for innocents whose only crime is to have been born differently. But society began to shift during the 1970s and 1980s – people with Down syndrome and other differently-abled populations were deemed “human” and institutions inhumane. The institutions were closed down, and it was now expected that people with Down syndrome would live at home, go to school and have fundamental human and civil rights. Today, the average lifespan of someone with Down syndrome is 60 years old. These gains have been made because of the human and civil rights movement for the differently-abled that various individuals and organizations fearlessly led in the 1970s and the 1980s. I was married and had my children during the 1970s and recall these events. During this time period when we built our first house, banks and mortgage companies did not accept a woman's salary during childbearing years. I cannot even imagine having your child ripped from you at birth. For further reading: Down Syndrome Human and Civil Rights Timeline
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  • Mackey
    January 1, 1970
    Keeping Lucy is the first T Greenwood novel that I have read and it is one that grabbed me, pulled me in and still will not let me go. It is heart breaking and heartwarming, historical and timely all at once. It’s a book that I highly recommend.Keeping Lucy begins with Ginny Richardson giving birth to her daughter, Lucy, who is born with Down Syndrome, known as ” a mongoloid” at that time. Ginny’s husband and father in law make the decision to put Lucy in a state-run facility called Willowridge Keeping Lucy is the first T Greenwood novel that I have read and it is one that grabbed me, pulled me in and still will not let me go. It is heart breaking and heartwarming, historical and timely all at once. It’s a book that I highly recommend.Keeping Lucy begins with Ginny Richardson giving birth to her daughter, Lucy, who is born with Down Syndrome, known as ” a mongoloid” at that time. Ginny’s husband and father in law make the decision to put Lucy in a state-run facility called Willowridge where she will be cared for until she dies. Those are their words. For several days, Ginny is given “twilight,” the drug most women were given during that time to forget the pains of childbirth and her loss. Remember, natural childbirth was not in vogue at this time. When my own daughter died in-vitro, I was given “twilight” so that I would “forget” everything. Trust me, you don’t forget. Your body remembers everything and your mind desperately tries to fill in the pieces that it was forced to black out. This drug is horrific. I cannot believe and entire generation of women were routinely given this drug. For two years Ginny is forced by her husband and her father in law to pretend her daughter did not exist until her best friend brings her news articles about the horrors that have been uncovered at Willowridge: children lying in their own feces, roaches in the food, children malnourished and far worse. Ginny and her friend, Marsha, decide – finally – to go to Willowridge only to discover that, while she can visit Lucy, her parental rights have been terminated by her husband. Ginny takes matters into her own hands at this point and a battle for Lucy’s survival ensues.I actually loved Keeping Lucy for multiple reasons and many of those reasons are the very ones for which other readers are disparaging the book. First, Keeping Lucy is based on an actual place called Willowbrook. You can read more about it HERE. It was so horrific that legislation was passed in the late 70s that allegedly altered the way that we in the US care for the “disabled.” I use the word allegedly because I grew up in the south near a facility aptly called the Conway Human Development Center. It was a place of filth and horror where people with mental and physical disabilities were sent just like Lucy was sent in this story. It still exists in one of the poorest states in the US and the residents are not developing anything other than bedsores and diseases. It’s a disgrace. If you doubt that, then you can read this article from today’s news. Nothing has changed. Nothing. Books like Keeping Lucy are necessary to educate readers about these horrors then as well as now.Furthermore, every time I read a book set in the late 60s and early 70s and that book is historically accurate regarding the plight of women, I am utterly amazed at the number of female reviewers who write scathing reviews about the passivity of the female protagonist. Here’s a reminder for you strong women of today. My daughter and I purchased a home two years ago, We literally had to jump through hoops in the state of Indiana to get a bank to approve a home loan to two women without a male co-signer! This is the 21st century. Until 1978, it was legal to fire a woman from her job if she got pregnant. An abortion was not legal until 1973 – and in some states in the southern US it still is not regardless of what you might think otherwise. Until 1977, you could be fired for reporting sexual harassment in the work place, a woman could not apply for a credit card on her own without a male co-signer until 1974, and could not refuse to have sex with her husband under any circumstances until the mid 1970s. Are you beginning to get a picture here ladies!? Ginny was not passive. She was living her life according the law of the land. While most others were guaranteed rights in 1965 and 1966, women were not granted any rights, other than the right to vote, until the mid to late 70s and we still obviously are fighting for the right to decide what is best for our own bodies! In Keeping Lucy, Ginny literally had no rights. Furthermore, everyone smoked!! They smoked in restaurants, they smoked in their cars, they smoked in stores, they smoked when pregnant and they smoked around kids! My doctor, whom I adored, smoked every time I visited – in his doctor’s office! I don’t know where you were in the 50s, 60s and 70s but there were advertisements for cigarettes extolling the benefits of nicotine! You are looking at the behavior of these women through your 21st century glasses and missing some very valuable lessons that we all need see and learn. Primarily this – nothing has changed!! We have politicians and religious leaders who want babies born at all cost. These children are then put in institutions like the Human Development Center and no one ever considers the toll that it places on the women who have given birth. No one EVER thinks about the women – period – much less these poor children!So, with all of that said, please read Keeping Lucy without blinders, with an open mind and with the idea that there is more here than two women on a joy ride across the south. This book is available for pre-order now.Thank you very much #Netgalley, @tgwood505 and #StMartinsPress for my advanced copy of #KeepingLucy.
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  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    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. G 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
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  • Erin Clemence
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel, received in exchange for an honest review. After devouring “Rust and Stardust” (and being both infatuated and disturbed by it), I was excited to get the chance to read T. Greenwood’s newest novel, “Keeping Lucy”. It’s 1969 and Ginny Richardson is living the life she always dreamed of. She has a loving, wealthy husband, a happy and elegant home, and a young son she adores. When she gets pregnant again, her happiness Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel, received in exchange for an honest review. After devouring “Rust and Stardust” (and being both infatuated and disturbed by it), I was excited to get the chance to read T. Greenwood’s newest novel, “Keeping Lucy”. It’s 1969 and Ginny Richardson is living the life she always dreamed of. She has a loving, wealthy husband, a happy and elegant home, and a young son she adores. When she gets pregnant again, her happiness only continues to grow. However, when the child is born she is given devastating news; her daughter, Lucy, was born with Down’s syndrome. Her husband, Ab, suggests that they put Lucy into the care of Willowridge, a local school for the “retarded”, encouraging Ginny that it’s “for the best”. Two years later, Ginny starts to hear about atrocities being committed at Willowridge; children being abused, starved, neglected, and living in disgusting conditions. Soon Ginny and her best friend Marsha are on the road to Willowridge, and when Ginny’s worst fears are confirmed, she takes Lucy with her and they are on the run. As a fugitive, Ginny is forced to think independently for the first time in her life, and make decisions for herself and her daughter. “Keeping Lucy” reminds us of just how far we have come. Less than fifty years ago, women were subservient to their husbands, relying on them to make the large decisions (and the money), while they cared for the home and the children. It was a time when women having children was expected, when women having full-time jobs was rare and disapproved of by society as a whole, and “retarded” children were shut away in decrepit homes with incompetent caregivers. “Lucy” is a stark reminder of how far society has come in terms of “acceptance” (although yes, of course, we still have a long way to go). This story started off strong, and I was addicted from page one. The storyline dwindled a lit bit somewhere in the middle, however, but I was so interested in the outcome of this novel that I pushed through. I could not help but cheer for Ginny and the adorable, Lucy. Greenwood’s characters are honest and dysfunctional, from the stuck up Abbott Sr. and his elitist dreams, right down to Marsha, the unmarried best friend with “loose morals” (HA!). The women in this novel all come together to protect each other and keep the children safe, as the men seek to show that “they know what’s best”. There is no doubt this novel will make you think and self-reflect. I found the ending to be unrealistic (it played out as a Lifetime Movie of the Week would, not as it would in reality), but it was endearing and charming, and left the reader feeling satisfied and content. After a novel such as “Rust and Stardust”, it would be challenging to write another novel with the same passion and connection, but “Keeping Lucy” is heartwarming and heartbreaking, and the emotions and thoughts evoked in the reader are the same ones that “Stardust” brought out. This novel will make you think, make you cry, and make you cheer, and this seems to be Greenwood’s M.O. “Keeping Lucy” is a novel that is worth checking out!
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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    4 compelling stars to this taleIn 1969, our main character, Ginny, gives birth to Lucy. The doctor and her husband and father-in-law all thought it best to ship this Down Syndrome baby off to an institution, so Ginny was forced to leave the hospital without her baby. As a mother, I thought this was an appalling reaction, but I think this happened a lot. Ginny was never on board with the decision, but as a woman, her opinion was not considered.Fast-forward two years and the institution has been e 4 compelling stars to this taleIn 1969, our main character, Ginny, gives birth to Lucy. The doctor and her husband and father-in-law all thought it best to ship this Down Syndrome baby off to an institution, so Ginny was forced to leave the hospital without her baby. As a mother, I thought this was an appalling reaction, but I think this happened a lot. Ginny was never on board with the decision, but as a woman, her opinion was not considered.Fast-forward two years and the institution has been exposed for mistreating children, so Ginny decides she needs to visit for herself. She’s allowed to see Lucy and even bring her home for the weekend. As you might imagine, once she’s seen the awful state of the institution and reunited with her daughter, there is no way Ginny will consider sending her back to that terrible place. She’s determined to stand up to her husband and father-in-law and figure out how to keep Lucy. Ginny ultimately flees her home with her son (who was told his baby sister died initially) and a friend and the race is on for much of the book.I liked the way this one turned out and how Ginny grows stronger as a person and makes a better life for Lucy and ultimately her family. I also was glad that Ginny’s husband took a stand and supported her. I am relieved that we’ve made progress on how children born with Down Syndrome are treated. This book is a good reminder that we need to keep making strides! I enjoyed an earlier book by this author, “Rust & Stardust”, so I will definitely keep reading T. Greenwood.Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and T. Greenwood for an early copy of the book to read. This one is now available!
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  • Lisa-Books Smiles
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars!Keeping Lucy, started with an intense and horrifying story of Lucy, just hours after being born with down syndrome was ripped from her mother’s arms and taken to an institution. As this novel unravels you will find yourself gasping for breath, on the verge of being sick, but ultimately leaving your heart full with love for these characters. Thank you, T. Greenwood for another heartwarming and very well written novel.*I received an early e-arc from the publisher via netgalley in exchang 4.5 Stars!Keeping Lucy, started with an intense and horrifying story of Lucy, just hours after being born with down syndrome was ripped from her mother’s arms and taken to an institution. As this novel unravels you will find yourself gasping for breath, on the verge of being sick, but ultimately leaving your heart full with love for these characters. Thank you, T. Greenwood for another heartwarming and very well written novel.*I received an early e-arc from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Lindsey Gandhi
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
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