A debut novel about a young Quaker who finds the most powerful love of her life when she gives birth at an institution for unwed mothers in 1883 Philadelphia. Against all odds she refuses to give up her daughter. Pregnant abandoned by her lover and banished from her Quaker home and teaching position, Lilli de Jong enters a charity home for wronged women to deliver her child. She is stunned at how her infant needs her and at how quickly she feels an intense emotional bond between them. Mothers in her position have no sensible alternative to giving their baby over to the charity, but Lilli cannot bear such an outcome. Instead, she charts a difficult path toward an independent life a journey that becomes both harrowing and enlightening. Other than her daughter, Lilli’s only companion is her diary, in which she confides her story as it unfolds. This powerful lone voice on paper takes readers from an impoverished charity to a wealthy family’s home to the dirty streets of a burgeoning American city. Lilli de Jong is at once a historical saga an intimate romance and a lasting testament to the work of mothers: “So little is permissible for a woman ” writes Lilli “yet on her back every human climbs to adulthood.”
Lilli de Jong
- From the Publisher
May 16, 2017
Jewish literature inspires, enriches, and educates the community.
Help support the Jewish Book Council.