Anna Solomon's Leaving Lucy Pear
The story here starts when a well-off Jewish teenager finds herself pregnant in the early 1900s, and not wanting to send the baby to an orphanage, instead leaves her for a family who annually steal a bunch of pears from her uncle's orchard. OK, sure. And then the little girl's adoptive mother becomes said uncle's caretaker. And there are a bunch of other characters, and Solomon throws in all sorts of things about Sacco and Vanzetti, and labor movements, and the temperance movement, and secretly gay men, and anti-Semitism, and Freudian analysis, and and and. There is way too much going on here, the tension of waiting for everyone to find out about where the little girl is is unbearable, there are ridiculous coincidences galore, and a reveal at the end totally cheapens everything that came before (even if everything that came before was kind of a muddle). This is just all over the place. It wants to be the sort of books that wine moms talk about in book club, but it just never manages to come together. Content warning for mentions of rape and child abuse. B-.