Lilli de Jong

Lilli de Jong

by Janet Benton

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

Library Journal Best Historical Fiction 2017

“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

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525563327
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/10/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 454,086
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Janet Benton is a writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Glimmer Train, and elsewhere. She has co-written and edited historical documentaries for television. She holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Erin Moon, a professional AEA/CAEA/SAG-AFTRA actor, is the AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator of over 200 novels. As a narrator, Erin is celebrated for her facility with accents and singing, and has frequently portrayed characters with British, Irish, French, Italian, and Scottish accents.

Read an Excerpt

1883. Third Month 16
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Lilli de Jong"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Janet Benton.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

1. How do you think the death of Lilli’s mother affected the course of Lilli’s life?

2. What role do you think Lilli’s religious background played in her willingness to suffer for her choices?

3. Does her faith remain the same or change in the course of the story?

4. How did the diary form of the novel affect your experience of the story?

5. Are there challenges Lilli faced that women still struggle with today?

6. How do you think Lilli’s story might be different if it was set today? In what ways might it be the same?

7. What messages about motherhood will you take away from the novel?

8. Are there choices Lilli made that you might have made differently, in her circumstances?

9. Johan tells Lilli he won’t pry into her secrets. But her mother warns that secrets will corrode bonds. Whose approach do you agree with?

10. What affected you most when you were reading Lilli’s story, and what do you think will remain with you?

Customer Reviews