One Night in 1917
Beatrice Haven sneaks out of her uncle's house on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, leaves her newborn baby at the foot of a pear tree, and watches as another woman claims the infant as her own. The unwed daughter of wealthy Jewish industrialists and a gifted pianist bound for Radcliffe, Bea plans to leave her shameful secret behind and make a fresh start. Ten years later, Prohibition is in full swing, post-WWI America is in the grips of rampant xenophobia, and Bea's hopes for her future remain unfulfilled. She returns to her uncle’s house, seeking a refuge from her unhappiness. But she discovers far more when the rum-running manager of the local quarry inadvertently reunites her with Emma Murphy, the headstrong Irish Catholic woman who has been raising Bea's abandoned child—now a bright, bold, cross-dressing girl named Lucy Pear, with secrets of her own.
In mesmerizing prose, award-winning author Anna Solomon weaves together an unforgettable group of characters as their lives collide on the New England coast. Set against one of America’s most turbulent decades, Leaving Lucy Pear delves into questions of class, freedom, and the meaning of family, establishing Anna Solomon as one of our most captivating storytellers.
PRAISE FOR Leaving Lucy Pear
From the first page, I was under the spell of Anna Solomon’s emotionally engaging narrative about the devastating choices we make and the unexpected consequences they bring. This is a fine literary tapestry woven with beautiful language, complex characters, and a precise probing of human desires and demons.SUE MONK KIDD, New York Times bestselling author of The Invention of Wings
Anna Solomon writes with a poet's reverence for language and a novelist's ability to keep us turning the page. Leaving Lucy Pear is a gorgeous and engrossing meditation on motherhood, womanhood, and the sacrifices we make for love.J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN, New York Times bestselling author of Maine and The Engagements
Leaving Lucy Pear is that rare combination of stunning language, raw emotion, and profound wisdom that catches you up and wrings you out and yet somehow leaves you fuller than when you began. In this tender new novel, Anna Solomon looks at our most fundamental relationships—between mothers, children, and lovers—with more compassion and grace that seems humanly possible.CELESTE NG, New York Times bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You
In Anna Solomon’s marvelously textured new novel, Cape Ann in the late 1920’s thrums with the issues of the day, prohibition and the vote, the immigrant problem and labor strikes, Sacco and Vanzetti and Mother Jones. When two seemingly dissimilar women, Emma and Bea, become bound to the same child, we’re given a piercing and often profound look at motherhood, what it is and isn’t, as well as the ways suffering makes and unmakes us all, sometimes many times over. Solomon is an enormously gifted writer, and her penetrating tale will linger in your mind long after the last page has turned.PAULA MCLAIN, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
Leaving Lucy Pear is a mosaic of longing: a cast of characters wrestling with lives they might have led, keeping secrets that could free them, and building uncertain futures. With great empathy, Solomon transports us to an evocative and overlooked time and place in this morally complex and deeply satisfying story.CHRISTOPHER CASTELLANI, author of All this Talk of Love
ROBIN BLACK, author of Life Drawing