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The Wet Nurse's Tale Hardcover – August 6, 2009
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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From Publishers Weekly
In her first novel, Eisdorfer offers as a guide to Victorian England her entertaining and surprising protagonist, Susan Rose. A bawdy young woman who could easily have walked off the pages of The Canterbury Tales, Susan ends up wet-nursing after getting unexpectedly and illicitly pregnant, and her alcoholic and abusive father forces her to leave her child and take up the occupation. Her journey into the intimate lives of England's upper crust proves an illuminating and dangerous one as Susan jumps from family to family—until her father sells her son. As Susan attempts to balance other peoples' babies with her quest to regain her own, she is faced with difficult choices between duty and love, and between her life and her child's. Whether she is carousing in the Jewish quarter or planning how to reclaim her son, Susan navigates the stratified social world with humorous vigor. A promiscuous, randy and hefty lady, Susan's a vibrant character, at once sweet and scheming, and given to such a crass frankness that even readers wary of historicals may want to give this a look. (Aug.)
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Top customer reviews
Susan Rose is a young, large woman working in the Great House of her town along with some of her many siblings. There really isn't much else for a girl in her position to do as she is poor, uneducated and has an abusive, alcoholic father who cares more for the wages she can bring home then her happiness. Her mother is extremely loving, however, and has kept her family fed by being Wet Nurse to many children over the years. When the lonely, odd son of the Great House seeks comfort in Susan's embrace, her future is set on a course with some happiness and much heart break. She herself becomes a Wet Nurse and finds a calling she did not prepare for. She wants what most women want in this world: happiness, children and the love of a good man who will love her for exactly who she is. But how can she, Susan Rose, find that?
This book was a quick read and I enjoyed the author's writing style very much. Susan herself is the narrator of this journey and the book reads just as she would speak outloud to her "Reader" who she addresses directly throughout. I was sad to see this book end but will definitely keep my eyes out for future books by this author.
I took off a star because there was one aspect of the storyline which I thought required a little too much suspension of disbelief.
So, if you enjoy Downtown Abbey, The Handmaids Tale or just a well written book then I think you'll enjoy this one. At $9.90 this was more than I would normally pay for a Kindle book but I felt it was worth every cent. I am not into historical or period dramas, but liked this one. Better to pay a few dollars for quality than to download rubbish for free.
The turn of the nineteeenth to the twentieth century tale is told in first person, with occasional breaks for short viginettes of the wealthy class women explain their how they came to require a wet nurse for their newborn child.
This book will be best appreciated by women who have bore children and is definitely meant to be read by women over the age of fifteen years of age because of adult subject matter and occasional adult language.