The Foundling by Ann Leary

The Foundling
.ePUB, 332 pages
Expected Publication: 31 May 2022
By: Simon & Schuster Canada, Scribner / Marysue Rucci Books

About The Book:
It’s 1927 and eighteen-year-old Mary Engle is hired to work as a secretary at a remote but scenic institution for mentally disabled women called the Nettleton State Village for Feebleminded Women of Childbearing Age. She’s immediately in awe of her employer—brilliant, genteel Dr. Agnes Vogel. Dr. Vogel had been the only woman in her class in medical school. As a young psychiatrist she was an outspoken crusader for women’s suffrage. Now, at age forty, Dr. Vogel runs one of the largest and most self-sufficient public asylums for women in the country. Mary deeply admires how dedicated the doctor is to the poor and vulnerable women under her care. Soon after she’s hired, Mary learns that a girl from her childhood orphanage is one of the inmates. Mary remembers Lillian as a beautiful free spirit with a sometimes-tempestuous side. Could she be mentally disabled? When Lillian begs Mary to help her escape, alleging the asylum is not what it seems, Mary is faced with a terrible choice. Should she trust her troubled friend with whom she shares a dark childhood secret? Mary’s decision triggers a hair-raising sequence of events with life-altering consequences for all. Inspired by a true story about the author’s grandmother, The Foundling offers a rare look at a shocking chapter of American history. This gripping page-turner will have readers on the edge of their seats right up to the stunning last page…asking themselves, “Did this really happen here?”

My Review:

This is my third book by Ann Leary and as much as I loved both The Good House and The Children this is by far my favourite. This story is so heartbreakingly sad, made even more so by the fact it is based on true events...of the author's grandmother no less. Mary and Bertie were so brave to try and carry out their plan and fight back. That wasn't such an easy thing to do in the 1920s, especially for women. 

 There was so much judgement against women and minorities back then, especially in small towns and counties. So sad that some of these judgements and prejudices still exist today. Ann Leary writes such compelling stories and I was captivated from the start with this one. I felt so many things while reading this, my emotions were all over the place. It's the type of book you want to hug when you are done. I loved the writing, the plot and characters so much and was pleasantly surprised by the ending. What a marvelous read. All. The. Stars.

With many thanks to NetGalley, Ann Leary and Simon & Schuster Canada, Scribner / Marysue Rucci Books for the giving of the ARC.



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