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:
"On a dark night in the late 1960s, Homan, a deaf African-American man, and Lynnie, a young white woman with very little vocal ability, arrive on Martha Zimmer's doorstep during a severe storm. While giving the drenched and mysterious couple food and a change of clothes, Martha learns they also have a newborn baby girl. Moments later, employees from the Pennsylvania State School for the Incurable and Feebleminded arrive to recapture the runaways. Homan is able to escape out the back door, while Lynnie manages just two words to Martha: "Hide her." The next morning, with Homan appearing to have drowned in a flooded river and Lynnie back in the institution, Martha-a childless widow and retired schoolteacher-leaves her home with the infant in tow, determined to keep her promise. Kate Reading's narration is engaging and appropriate. She creates and alternates between different voices for the book's characters in a way that is subtle, effective, and never distracting, which only adds to a masterful book that covers subject matter both appalling and enthralling. A Grand Central hardcover. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved