Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood is an engaging plot that may cause you to loose sleep, delay housework or simply skip other normal life activities. And while this intro is tongue-and-cheek, the core of Greenwood’s subject is anything but – the very real history that many of the institutions that were home to special-needs citizens were human warehouses with wretched conditions, treating horribly the wards they were meant to care for.
Inspired by real events, Keeping Lucy is the story of one mother’s near impossible choice between her institutionalized child and the family who put her daughter there.
Having just given birth, Ginny wakes to find that her special-needs daughter has already been swept away to be cared for in a more suitable environment – a “school” better equipped to handle children with Lucy’s type of health conditions. Never having the chance to say good-bye, Ginny is counseled by her husband (and her in-laws) that it will be better for everyone if they treat Lucy as if she never existed.
But Ginny can’t forget, especially when, two years later, a newspaper’s exposé of the facility reveals that the children are living in deplorable conditions. The circumstances have caused a legal battle between parents and the institution – a legal battle that, for Ginny, places her squarely on the side of the parents until she learns her husband’s law firm – owned by her father-in-law – is representing the facility.
Knowing she must see what’s happening for herself, Ginny plans a weekend visit to see Lucy and finds herself with an unimaginable decision – leave her daughter in horrifying conditions or go on the run with a minor for whom she doesn’t even have custody.
Keeping Lucy is a quick read, made all the more so by its enthralling plot. Told in alternating time periods eight years apart, the story moves between 1963 when Ginny and her husband meet in college and 1971 when Lucy is two years old. I recommend this to anyone who likes an easy to read, good plot driven narrative.
I was provided an advanced reader copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. To learn more, go to netgalley.com. Keeping Lucy will be available on Aug. 6, 2019.
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