This is the second book I read by the historical romance author Julie Klassen and just like the other novel I read, The Silient Governness, I enjoyed it a lot. As I learned a lot about the life of governess in The Silent Governess, this time, I learned so much about a wet nurse through Lady of Milkweed Manor.
Apparently, it was a very common practice to hire a wet nurse in 17th and 18th century Britain to feed infants and that people used to send their babies away to get fed and raised by wet nurses for their first two years of their lives! I found it quite shocking and repulsive personally since I can’t imagine doing that to my little girl!
I learned that even one of the most beloved writers of all time, Jane Austen, herself was sent away during her first two years of life to be fed and cared for by a wet nurse! That goes to show how certain bizarre things are practiced and accepted as a common practice and I wonder what kind of things that are practiced and accepted today in our society will be shocking and frowned upon by our future generation! :-)
I find the books of Julie Klassen charming and peaceful to read and they are especially perfect for night-time reading. I look forward to read the third book of hers, The Apothecary’s Daughter, soon!
In this inspirational historical romance debut novel set in 19th-century England, a young pregnant woman is forced to make difficult choices. Twenty-year-old Charlotte Lamb is the daughter of a heartless English vicar, as we discover when she becomes pregnant and he throws her out of her childhood home. Vulnerable and unprotected, she is forced to a lodging place for unwed mothers. Soon, Lamb must make decisions involving true love and sacrifice, providing many powerful turning points throughout the story. Although Klassen occasionally lapses into back-to-back dialogue, her prose is generally smooth, and Charlotte has the reader’s sympathy from the earliest pages. The amount of information about wet nurses, lactation and breastfeeding can become weighty, although often intriguing (such as the practice of using goats to directly feed foundling infants to avoid the spread of syphilis). Faith themes are subtly woven throughout. The reader will need to suspend disbelief to enjoy some of the plot twists, especially the happily-ever-after ending, which provides the redemptive conclusion common to Christian fiction. A bonus is the milkweed poetry, lore and symbolism knitted into the narrative. Both readers of faith fiction and general readers of historical romance should enjoy this lovely first offering from Klassen.