Lilli De Jong

Lilli De Jong

eBook - 2017
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Random House, Inc.
“A powerful, authentic voice for a generation of women whose struggles were erased from history—a heart-smashing debut that completely satisfies.”
—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

A young woman finds the most powerful love of her life when she gives birth at an institution for unwed mothers in 1883 Philadelphia. She is told she must give up her daughter to avoid lifelong poverty and shame. But she chooses to keep her.
Pregnant, left behind by her lover, and banished from her Quaker home and teaching position, Lilli de Jong enters a home for wronged women to deliver her child. She is stunned at how much her infant needs her and at how quickly their bond overtakes her heart. Mothers in her position face disabling prejudice, which is why most give up their newborns. But Lilli can’t accept such an outcome. Instead, she braves moral condemnation and financial ruin in a quest to keep herself and her baby alive.
Confiding their story to her diary as it unfolds, Lilli takes readers from an impoverished charity to a wealthy family's home to the streets of a burgeoning American city. Drawing on rich history, Lilli de Jong is both an intimate portrait of loves lost and found and a testament to the work of mothers. "So little is permissible for a woman," writes Lilli, “yet on her back every human climbs to adulthood.”

Publisher: Nan a Talese,, 2017
ISBN: 9780385541466
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


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Sep 10, 2017

A fictional story based on the actual living conditions that befell any unmarried pregnant woman and afterwards the terrible risks involved if she dared to keep her baby. It is a compelling book that should evoke empathy for those women (not men!) who 'sinned'.

Jun 18, 2017

Oh, so many comments. Not a perfect book, but a great one. Misery, marginalization, religion, squalor, and lowly women and saviours! It is lushly written, even if the characters and plot are unoriginal. Something about it reminds me of Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber, a book I've always regretted reading because it means I can't read it for the first time again ever again. Gorgeous book. I requested Lilli De Jong based on the cover art, a young mother and her infant emerging from the dark, and for the plot which included Quakers, a sect I've always been really interested in. And it's been a while since I've read a historical! This is a downhill slide of a read because it's a book where things are happening. The characters? None will surprise you. You won't fall off the edge of your seat, because if you've read one historical about the female underdog, especially one struggling through the unforgiving 1800s, you've read them all. One tale of abject poverty and whoredom that I loved was Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue and, of course, the original tale of being a poor whore --- Moll Flanders. So, on some level, I'm lumping Benton's novel with many great historical fiction novels (or novels throughout history that are great). Great read.
I read it during a sad, stressful weekend and it helped take my mind off what was going on a few chapters at a time. Thanks, Janet Benton. I look forward to so much more from you.


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Sep 10, 2017

Eil_1 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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