It is 1968. Lynnie, a young white woman with a developmental disability, and Homan, an African American deaf man, are locked away in an institution, the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, and have been left to languish, forgotten. Deeply in love, they escape, and find refuge in the farmhouse of Martha, a retired schoolteacher and widow. But the couple is not alone-Lynnie has just given birth to a baby girl. When the authorities catch up to them that same night, Homan escapes into the darkness, and Lynnie is caught. But before she is forced back into the institution, she whispers two words to Martha: "Hide her." And so begins the 40-year epic journey of Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and baby Julia-lives divided by seemingly insurmountable obstacles, yet drawn together by a secret pact and extraordinary love.
"It's a rainy night in 1968, and Lynnie Goldberg and Homan Wilson, escapees from the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, are on the run. They have found refuge at the farmhouse of Martha, a retired schoolteacher and widow. When the authorities find them, Homan escapes into the woods, and Lynnie is recaptured. Although she has not spoken in years, Lynnie manages to whisper into Martha's ear, just before she is led away in a straitjacket, Hide her. Her is the child Lynnie has just given birth to and left in a basket in Martha's attic. What follows is the story of Lynnie and Homan, who, despite great obstacles, spend the next 40 years looking for one another. It is also the story of Martha, who cares for Lynnie's child, and of Kate, a sympathetic social worker who helps Lynnie survive life at the school. This is an eye-opening look at the treatment of disabled individuals in the mid-twentieth century. Institutionalized, mistreated, and forgotten, Lynnie and Homan are two people who manage not only to survive but to set themselves free.--Gladstein, Carol Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"In this enthralling love story, Lynnie, a young white developmentally disabled woman with limited speech, and Homan, a deaf African-American man, meet at the Pennsylvania State School for the Incurable and Feebleminded in the late 1960s. Despite strict rules, poor conditions, an abusive staff, and the couple's lack of language, Lynnie and Homan share tender moments. After their escape, a few days of freedom not only enables the secretly pregnant Lynnie to give birth outside the walls of the corrupt institution, it also secures the couple's admiration for one another. Fears of discovery force them to leave the baby in the hands of a nurturing widow, Martha Zimmer. Soon after, the school's staff apprehend Lynnie, while Homan flees. Although their stories diverge and unfold independently of one another, memories of their short time together sustain them for more than 40 years as they develop the confidence to eventually parent, learn to sign and speak, and finally, reunite. Simon (Riding the Bus with My Sister) who grew up with a developmentally disabled sister, has written an enormously affecting read, and provided sensitive insight into a complex world often dismissed by the "abled." (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved