recommended by…

The Millions / InStyle / TIME / Good Housekeeping / Minneapolis Star Tribune / Jewish Women's Archive / Jewish Book Council / Erika Dreifus / BookBub Blog / Harvard Crimson / JW Magazine / Daily Break / JWeekly / RIF

Leaving Lucy Pear

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.



For Book Groups

 Let Anna know if you'd like her to call in for an author Q&A. When schedules align, she loves to talk with book clubs. She's also happy to send signed book plates to your group. 

Just want some juicy material to get your conversation off to a great start? 

Here's a Q&A with Anna about the process of writing the book. 

Here's a Readers Guide, with suggested topics and questions for discussion. 

And...if your group is especially ambitious, here's a delicious book group guide including recipes, cocktail ideas, and questions to help jumpstart your group's conversation!

Finally, here's a printable synopsis, Q&A, and question guide all in one pretty package.




“Solomon is a beautiful writer, and her prose brings people and scenes achingly alive.” 

—Entertainment Weekly


“...consistently provides the essential pleasures of a good story well told....this is a book governed... by empathy, a desire to give each character opportunities for growth and betterment, bravery and openness.”

—The New York Times Book Review

“...gorgeously moving... a dazzling exploration of the impact of roads untaken on motherhood, class, and gender.... It’s impossible to stop reading, because Solomon has made us care so much for all the characters, because she’s fashioned a world so real, you can taste the salt spray and smell the heady fragrance of the ripe pears.”

—Caroline Leavitt, The Boston Globe

“Solomon’s…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.”

—Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW)

“Repeatedly opting for the less predictable outcome, Solomon reaches resolutions marked with the same reflective maturity as the rest of this solidly absorbing novel. Slow-movement storytelling: fully-fleshed, compassionate, and satisfying.” 

—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)