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Keeping Lucy

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  3,754 ratings  ·  903 reviews
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
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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T. Greenwood I had the same question myself, but in reading Benjamin Ricci's book, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY about his son's years at Belchertown, I learned that par…moreI had the same question myself, but in reading Benjamin Ricci's book, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY about his son's years at Belchertown, I learned that parents were allowed off-campus visitation with their children, despite many of them having relinquished their custodial rights. (less)
Amanda It was based on the events that took place at the Belchertown State School for the Feeble-Minded. Did you read the Author's Note at the back? It lays …moreIt was based on the events that took place at the Belchertown State School for the Feeble-Minded. Did you read the Author's Note at the back? It lays out the real life events that inspired the story. (less)

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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  3,754 ratings  ·  903 reviews

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Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book captivated me from start to finish!

Very mild spoiler(s)

It's 1969 and Ginny has just given birth to her second child, a baby girl with down syndrome. The moment she's born, Ginny's doctor tells her that she won't be able to keep the baby, and that her baby will likely die within a few years from a heart condition or something else. Her husband wants to protect the family by sending the baby to a school for children with needs. Ginny doesn't agree with her husband Abbott, but she feels s
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, 2019-releases
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

Once again T. Greenwood has written a story that kept me riveted as I flew through the pages.

Ginny Richardson had always wanted a simple life. Her husband, Ab had said he wanted the same thing. They were going to live in a little cabin in the woods with their children, enjoying nature and each other. Unfortunately, those dreams were shattered early on.

“They didn’t know that there would be a whole series of roadblocks on
Holly  B (semi-hiatus until Nov)
Amazing writing, amazing story telling and I could not stop reading it!

Honestly, I was just going to "preview" a bit of this novel, and planned on reading it next month. That never happened. - I became so absorbed in the story and so invested in the characters that I simply couldn't put the book down !

It was such a compelling story line and I just fell in love with little Lucy and truly cared about her and her mom, Ginny. I had to see the story through to the end.

It was 1969 and Ginny's b
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Ginny Richardson's daughter, Lucy, is born with down syndrome, her husband has her taken to Willowridge, a school for the "feeble minded” Ginny is heartbroken, but her husband convinces her that Lucy being in Willowridge is in everyone's best interest - including Lucy's. Ginny was expected to grieve and move on. But then Ginny's friend Marsha find a newspaper article detailing neglected children, despicable living conditions and poor treatment at Willowridge, Ginny knows she must do somethi ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-completed
Update: Today, August 6th 2019 - happy publication day for this novel.

I have been a fan of T. Greenwood’s writing for quite some time. I have also been disappointed once before, but never to the degree that I was disappointed in this novel.

For me, the pacing was off completely. As I was reading, I felt like someone sat a half-dozen young women at a table with several open bottles of wine and glasses all around, then gave them an exercise to come up with ideas for a road trip – and to just write
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Virginia (Ginny) Richardson worked in a library when she met Abbot, Jr. (Ab). He came from money because his father led a very successful law firm. Abbot Sr. had designs set on his son; he wanted him to go to Harvard Law school and follow in his footsteps. But Ab had other ideas about joining a group of aid workers for six months in Vietnam. When Ab brought Ginny to his family's sparkling and imposing mansion, Abbot Sr. made it clear that she wasn't an ideal candidate for his son's future wife. ...more
Enjoyable, unputdownable, fascinating!

Oh my goodness! This book was so good and so beautifully written. T. Greenwood is one of my absolute favourite authors and I never hesitate in picking up one of her novels. A totally absorbing and captivating read from start to finish.

Would recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press & T. Greenwood for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Last year I read T. Greenwood’s release, Rust and Stardust, and thoroughly loved it. After seeing her latest release I couldn’t wait to read it! And yes, once again that magic is there for you to devour!

While giving birth to her second child, Ginny quickly realizes something is very wrong. From the nurses to the doctor…averted eyes, hushed tones. Why won’t anyone let her see her daughter?
Ginny’s husband arranges for their newborn baby Lucy to be cared for in a full time live-in school. He i
Aug 02, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars for Greenwood's story of betrayal, love and forgiveness.

It's 1969 and Ginny Richardson's daughter, Lucy, is born with Down Syndrome. This is a time where institutionalizing children with Down Syndrome was common and the genetic disorder was stigmatized and widely misunderstood. Lucy is taken from her mother at birth and left at Willowridge School where unbeknownst to her mother she and all the other children are living in horrific conditions, being mistreated and ill cared for. When t
I very much enjoyed Rust and Stardust, the author’s last book, so I was excited at the opportunity to read this one.

When Ginny’s second child is born, a daughter with Down Syndrome, the baby is whisked away by her husband and sent to a residential home, Willowbrook. Ginny never laid eyes on her daughter or held her. She grieves the baby she never met but is subservient to her husband to a fault and the subject is never discussed in their household.

Two years later the school is the subject of a
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
For those of us of a certain age, 1969 can seem like forever ago and recent history. But a lot has changed in the last fifty years, especially when it comes to the treatment of Down’s Syndrome children. Even the name. I remember when they were called Mongoloids and that shunting them away was the normal practice.

This gripping book deals with Ginny, who gives birth to such a child. Initially, she goes along with her husband and his family, who insist the child be placed in a special “school”. Bu
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ginny, wife of wealthy lawyer Ab, gives birth to a Down Syndrome baby girl and barely gets to touch her before the baby is whisked off to Willowridge, a special school for the “feeble-minded." Ginny has no say in the matter and is heavily medicated so she can't even give voice to the fact that she wants to keep and raise her baby. Ab's rich, big time lawyer dad manipulates the entire situation so that the problem of Lucy is swept under the rug and Ginny's mother in law takes it upon herself to t ...more
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read

When Ginny Richardson's second child, Lucy, is born with Down Syndrome, the baby is quickly whisked away. Not just to be placed in the NICU or given special care, literally taken away from her.

Her husband, Ab's, wealthy family decides immediately the child would be best dealt with by shipping it away to a 'special school' never to be thought of, or discussed, again.

Unfortunately, Ginny's in such a drug-induced state at the hospital, she doesn't even realize what is happening until
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
After reading the synopsis for this book I thought "YESSSSSS... she's going to do with the story behind Willowbrook that she did with the Sally Horner story in Rust and Stardust".

Yeahhhhhh... that'd be a big nope.

Instead, the most interesting aspect of this story, Willowbrook State School (aka Willowridge in this story) is barely explored.

Instead we get melodramatic unrelatable characters in predictable situations.

I want to know about Lucy! I mean, her name is in the title after all. The star
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
A captivating and thought-provoking read. It is difficult to imagine that the time when women were powerless to this extent is not that far away (in some places or in some aspects it is still here with us).
Ginny Richardson is told that her newborn daughter Lucy has Down Syndrome and a heart condition that will not permit her to live long. Ginny's husband Ab, under pressure from his overbearing wealthy lawyer father, agrees to place Lucy in an institution for 'feeble-minded'. Ab tries to persuade
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
2 stars.

In 1969, Ginny and Ab Richardson’s second child, a daughter named Lucy, is born with Down Syndrome. Explaining that she will have major health issues and need specialized care, Abs’ wealthy and powerful parents convince Ginny to send her daughter to live at Willowridge, a school for the “feeble-minded”. Ginny is tormented by this heart-wrenching decision, aching for her daughter every single day. Two years after giving Lucy up, Ginny’s best friend, Marsha, stumbles across an article exp
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: womens-fiction
This heart-warming tale of motherhood, families, and the female voice is so beautiful–it captured my heart!

About the Book

This past week I finished reading T. Greenwood’s novel Keeping Lucy, which tells the story of a mother who is learning to rediscover her voice and follow her instincts. Set in the 1970s, Ginny is advised to send her second child Lucy to a home for children born with downs syndrome. She’ll need special care, particularly because of a heart defect that likely means Lucy won’t li
Susanne  Strong
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Stars.

In Dover, MA, in 1969, Ginny Richardson’s daughter is taken away from her at birth. Her daughter was born with Down Syndrome and Ginny never got to hold or see her. Her husband Abbott (Ab) and his father, gave orders to have Lucy taken away to Willowbridge, a school for the “feeble-minded” -without Ginny’s consent.

A few years later, news articles come out after parents file a class action lawsuit against Willowbridge, showing that the school is neglecting children in its care and has de
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.

In the same vein as other reviewers, I was completely captivated by the author's previous novel, Rust and Stardust and had selected this book as one of my most eagerly anticipated reads of 2019. It DID NOT disappoint.

Keeping Lucy shows how far a mother will go to protect the children that she loves. It's 1969 and main protagonist, Ginny is devasted when her father in law makes the unilateral d
It’s 1969 and Ginny Richardson goes into labor with her second child at the baby shower hosted by her mother-in-law. After a hazy delivery, she’s informed that her baby daughter, Lucy, has serious health issues and has Down syndrome. Still in a fog aided by sedatives heaped upon her, husband Ab convinces her that the child needs to be institutionalized and isn’t expected to live very long. Ginny only has a few moments with her daughter before she’s taken. Two years later, her best friend, Marsha ...more

Heartbreaking. horrifying. Intense.

The first thing I did after reading KEEPING LUCY was Google Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, New York and was almost sorry I did. Conditions of the so-called school were appalling, the treatment and photos of the forgotten children sickening. I was so glad T. Greenwood's work of historical fiction kept the horrors to a minimum while still bringing to light the unimaginable history of this institution.

As the story begins, it's 1969 whe

Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
My second novel by T. Greenwood and while it is an ok read it is not one for my favourite’s list unlike her last novel Rust & Stardust by T. GreenwoodRust & Stardust which I absolutely loved.

A mother fighting for the right to bring up her daughter who is diagnosed with Down syndrome in the 1960s while her husband and family persuade her that the child has to be raised in a institution called Willowridge a special school for the feeble minded children.

I was drawn to this Novel when I read that it was based on true events th
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s the late 1960s in Dover, Massachusetts, when Ginny Richardson’s beloved daughter, Lucy, who has Down Syndrome, is taken away from her. Her husband does the taking, sending little Lucy to Willowridge, a school for those with disabilities (though it wasn’t worded quite this way back then).

Ab, Ginny’s husband, tells her to grieve for Lucy as if she has died, and they need to move on. That completely broke my heart.

Two years go by, and some articles are written exposing Willowridge as an unsafe
Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it
When I saw that this author had a new book, I hurried to request it, as I am a fan of a couple of her previous books.
This one was just mediocre for me.
A young married couple, quite well off, have a young son and the second child, Lucy, is born with Down’s Syndrome and at this time in history, 1969... many were institutionalized. This is NOT what Ginny, the mother wanted.. her husband signed the child over to the state, under pressure from his own father.
This story is about a mother’s quest to ge
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A heartwarming story of a mother’s love and redemption.

Ginny Richardson‘s was devastated when her newborn infant girl that she named Lucy, was ripped away from her just minutes after her birth. It was October 1969 and Lucy had been born with Down’s Syndrome. The doctor, Lucy’s husband, Ab and Lucy’s powerful father-in-law thought it was for the best that Lucy be taken away to Willowridge immediately, a special school for the “feeble minded.” Ab tried to convince Ginny they should just mov
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: net-galley, jan-mar
Let me preface my review by saying I have loved everything this author has written. From her Bodies of Water to Rust and Stardust, she has managed to ensnare me into a web of excellent reading, writing, and story telling. So, you can imagine my disappointment when reading this book and finding it came up quite short in my expectations.

The background of the story is traumatic. From the early fifties to the late seventies, children and people with mental disabilities were shunted into institutions
Keeping Lucy is the first T Greenwood novel that I have read and it is one that grabbed me, pulled me in and still will not let me go. It is heart breaking and heartwarming, historical and timely all at once. It’s a book that I highly recommend.

Keeping Lucy begins with Ginny Richardson giving birth to her daughter, Lucy, who is born with Down Syndrome, known as ” a mongoloid” at that time. Ginny’s husband and father in law make the decision to put Lucy in a state-run facility called Willowridge
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
In 1969 we landed men on the moon and safely returned them to earth. The realm of science and knowledge was greatly enlarged. Unfortunately knowledge was not expanded in all areas of our lives.
In 1969, it was common practice for children born with Down’s syndrome to be placed from birth in an institution for the “feeble minded”.
Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood is a story of one family who must face this issue when young mother, Ginny, gives birth to her second child, Lucy, a Down’s Syndrome child. G
Judy D Collins
Check out my special Q&A Elevator Interview with T. Greenwood! Meet the master storyteller, learn more about the inspiration behind this extraordinary novel, KEEPING LUCY, down syndrome, plus fun facts about the author and more!

Sparked by the horrific conditions at Belchertown State School for the Feebleminded, a state-run institution in Belchertown, Massachusetts. A perfect blending of fact and fiction.


Many of you have read (2018) T. Greenwood's award-winning, Rust &


Dover, Massachusetts
October 1969

”Later she would blame the moon. That full, blood moon that pierced the night sky like a bleeding bullet hole.”

”Fall arrived early that year she was pregnant with Lucy, the heat of summer gone overnight, frost lacing the windows like Mother Nature’s curtains.”

It was a few weeks before Halloween, the air had that chill to it, and the leaves were changing, falling to the ground in some places when there was a baby shower gi
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Play Book Tag: (Poll Ballot) Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood - 4 stars 1 9 Apr 16, 2020 06:03AM  
AMERICAN HISTORIC...: Giveaway Winner! 1 14 Aug 16, 2019 03:04PM  
AMERICAN HISTORIC...: Outtakes 5 8 Aug 16, 2019 12:52PM  
AMERICAN HISTORIC...: Writing Historical Fiction 5 13 Aug 16, 2019 05:29AM  
AMERICAN HISTORIC...: Hello from Tammy! 5 17 Aug 14, 2019 05:51PM  
AMERICAN HISTORIC...: Welcome T. Greenwood! 5 16 Aug 14, 2019 05:02PM  
AMERICAN HISTORIC...: Excerpt from KEEPING LUCY 5 8 Aug 14, 2019 04:52PM  

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T. Greenwood is the author of thirteen novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and, most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council. She has won four San Diego Book Awards. Five of her novels have been BookSense76/IndieBound picks. BODIES OF WATER was finalist for a Lambda Foundation award. Her ...more

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