Beautifully rendered story of women and motherhood set against the backdrop of 1920s Gloucester, Massachusetts. The characters were nuanced and the storytelling, seamless. This is a book that stuck with me long after the last page.— Susan
One night in 1917, Beatrice Haven sneaks out of her uncle's house in 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.