Today's finish is another excellent book. Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen. This it the debut novel by this editor turned author and can be categorized as Christian fiction, although the references to faith were few and subtle and not any reason to avoid this book if you are not Christian.
Charlotte Lamb is a young 18th century woman who is turned out of her family's house when she becomes pregnant. The details of her predicament unfold slowly as we read of her lonely journey to a home for unwed mothers in London. There she discovers the unseen world of foundlings, wet nurses and childbirth. The book is well-researched and full of fascinating detail about the plight and resourcefulness of women at this time.
Charlotte is a strong and sympathetic character. Abandoned by the baby's father, she nevertheless refuses to reveal his identity to her family or friends. The choices she faces are formidable and at times heartbreaking. There is redemption however, in many forms. There are a number of men she encounters who have the potential to become suitors and keep her from a future of poverty. The reader is kept guessing until the final chapter, which has a satisfying, and unpredictable ending.
I think mothers in particular would enjoy this book. It explores the bond of infant care and breastfeeding in a new way. I felt a kinship and sisterhood with the women in this book. I look forward to reading more works by this author, including The Apothecary's Daughter. Both of these books have been bestsellers at Amazon.
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