Book Review: Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood

Title: Keeping Lucy
By: T. Greenwood
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 320
Release Date: August 6th, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Rating: ★★★★★

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

Review: A tearjerker. This book brings to light the tragic way people with disabilities were treated back in the 60's. As a mother of several children with Autism, it makes me sick to think that just a few decades ago, my boys would be signed over to the state to live in an institution where they would be neglected and abused for their entire lives, and those lives were usually short. This book follows a wonderful mother who saw the joy in having a child and not just the hardships of downs syndrome. She fought for her daughter, against her husband and her family. I could only imagine how hard that would be and I’m glad that society is learning to accept children with differences these days. Loved this book and its story.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.


  1. I can't imagine this era of time when they treated children with needs like this. Just awful! I'm glad that you enjoyed this one, it sounds like a good one.

  2. I have special needs children myself and I couldn't imagine puting them away like this. I think that's why I felt for this mother. She fought for her children with everything she had. It was a touching story.

  3. Wow, this sounds like a powerful read and I definitely feel for both the mother and the child. I had an aunt who was born with Down Syndrome and thankfully she was raised at home surrounded by a loving family and not placed into such an awful environment. I think this book is going to be a must-read for me. Wonderful review!