Isabella Biedenharn
August 05, 2016 AT 02:55 PM EDT

Leaving Lucy Pear

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Anna Solomon
publisher
Viking
genre
Novel

We gave it a B

Solomon is a beautiful writer, and her prose brings people and scenes achingly alive. There’s Beatrice Haven, a wealthy woman who leaves her illegitimate newborn under a tree in the hopes that the Irish family that steals pears from her aunt and uncle’s orchard will find and raise the child as their own. There’s Emma Murphy, the tired mother of eight who, as planned, discovers and keeps the baby, but then 10 years later ends up with a job in Bea’s house. And finally, there’s Lucy Pear, the lovable heart of the story, on the cusp of ripening and busy working her own secret plan. At times it feels like Solomon is ticking off boxes to prove she researched the 1920s setting (Prohibition, check; Sacco and Vanzetti, check), but she needn’t have worried: Her characters’ struggles with motherhood and identity would be compelling in any era. B

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