Life Coach Magazine

Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood

By Debi Lantzer @debiL1611

Keeping Lucy by T. GreenwoodKeeping Lucy by T. Greenwood
Published by St. Martin’s Press on August 6, 2019
Genres: Family Life, Historical, Literary, Literature & Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon


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.

I had read Where I Lost Her by T. Greenwood back in March of 2016 (see review HERE), so when I learned from St. Martin’s Press about today’s book, Keeping Lucy, available for advance reading, I jumped at the opportunity! Since it isn’t releasing until August of this year, I added the book to my “TBR” stack and didn’t plan to read it so soon since I have other books with earlier release date. What changed? I was waiting at a doctor’s office one day and I “accidentally” skimmed the first couple of pages of this book and then BAM! that was it. The story was so compelling I couldn’t help myself: I read the book cover to cover in two days. 

Ginny Richardson gives birth to a little girl, Lucy, who is born with down syndrome. Her husband, Abbott (“Ab”) is from a wealthy and powerful family, and he convinces Ginny that Lucy needs to go to Willowridge, a school for the “feeble minded”, both because of her down syndrome and because of her heart defect.  Ginny is heartbroken and tormented by the decision, and her heart aches for her daughter every day.

Two years later, Ginny’s friend, Marsha finds a shocking newspaper article describing the conditions at Willowridge, including neglected children, poor treatment and horrible living conditions.  Ginny knows that she needs to protect her daughter and do something; she knows she needs to act now.

Ginny and Marsha head to Willowridge with Ginny’s six-year old son in tow, to see Lucy for themselves and check her out for the weekend.  The more Ginny learns about Lucy’s mistreatment, the more certain she is that she won’t be bringing Lucy back. Unfortunately, Ginny’s husband Ab isn’t feeling the same way.

The ending – while a bit unrealistic to me – was charming and endearing.  Keeping Lucy is a novel that will make you cry and will make you cheer, and it’s a novel that is worth checking out! 

Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood T. Greenwood grew up in rural Vermont. She began writing stories at seven years old and wrote her first “novel” at nine on her dad’s giant blue electric typewriter. 

Since then, she has published thirteen novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Maryland State Arts Council. She has won three San Diego Book Awards. Five of her novels have been BookSense76/IndieBound picks. BODIES OF WATER was finalist for a Lambda Foundation award. Her thirteenth novel, KEEPING LUCY, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in August 2019.

She teaches creative writing for San Diego Writer’s Ink and online for The Writer’s Center. She and her husband, Patrick, live in San Diego, CA with their two daughters during the school year and spend their summers at her family’s camp on Newark Pond in Vermont.

Connect with Ms. Greenwood on social media ~~


I received an advanced readers digital copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to provide a positive review.

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