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ABOUT:

Philadelphia, 1883. Twenty-three-year-old Lilli de Jong is pregnant and alone—abandoned by her lover and banished from her Quaker home. She gives birth at a charity for wronged women, planning to give up the baby. But the power of their bond sets her on a completely unexpected path. Unwed mothers in 1883 face staggering prejudice, yet Lilli refuses  to give up her baby girl. Instead, she braves moral condemnation and financial ruin in a quest to keep the two of them alive.  

Lilli confides this story to her diary as it unfolds, taking readers from a charity for unwed mothers to a wealthy family’s home and onto the streets of a burgeoning American city. Her story offers a rare and harrowing view into a time when a mother’s milk is crucial for infant survival. Written with startling intimacy and compassion, this accomplished novel is both a rich historical depiction and a testament to the saving force of a woman’s love. 

“So little is permissible for a woman,” writes Lilli, “yet on her back every human climbs to adulthood.”

PURCHASE here.

PRAISE:

“A STRIKING HISTORICAL AND FEMINIST DEBUT THAT HIGHLIGHTS THE POWER OF MOTHERHOOD AND HONORS THE SILENT STRENGTH OF WOMEN.”— BUSTLE

AUTHOR VISITS:

Janet is available to visit with book clubs (virtual and in-person) via NovelNetwork.com. View Janet’s calendar and schedule your visit here.