Lil­li de Jong

  • From the Publisher
May 16, 2017

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.”

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