Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon | LJ Review

Solomon’s razor-sharp prose scrapes her characters raw as she plants them deeply in the history and turmoil of 1920s New England.
9781594632655__1462202317_79784redstarSolomon, Anna. Leaving Lucy Pear. Viking. Jul. 2016. 315p. ISBN 9781594632655. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780698149922. F In 1917, on the verge of a breakdown, 18-year-old Beatrice Haven leaves her newborn daughter under a tree in her Uncle Ira’s pear orchard, knowing that the poachers who “harvest” the fruit will provide the baby with a home. Lucy Pear Murphy, nearly ten, doesn’t look like her Irish parents or her eight siblings, but she is eager to help her mother, Emma, set up an operation to produce a fermented drink made from the pears. Emma approaches Josiah Story, the manager of the stone quarry, who is now running for mayor, for a loan. With her husband away on a fishing vessel, Emma seizes the opportunity to make some extra money. But Josiah has more in mind than a business proposition. In addition to having an affair, he sets Emma up as Ira’s nurse. Since Bea is now a temperance crusader, he hopes to earn her endorsement and therefore the women’s vote. Emma knows immediately that Bea is her daughter’s mother. ­VERDICT Solomon’s (The Little Bride) razor-sharp prose scrapes her characters raw as she plants them deeply in the history and turmoil of 1920s New England. A beautifully rendered tale of discovering one’s true nature. Highly recommended.—Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal This review was published in Library Journal's May 1, 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35 percent off the regular subscription rate.

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