The Wet Nurse’s Tale by Erica Eisdorfer- 272 pages
Susan Rose isn't the average protagonist: she's scheming, promiscuous, plump, and she is also smart, funny, tender, and entirely lovable. Like many lower-class women of Victorian England, she was born into a world that offered very few opportunities for the poor and unlovely. But Susan is the kind of plucky heroine who seeks her fortune, and finds it . . . with some help from, well, her breasts. Susan, you see, is a professional wet nurse; she breast-feeds the children of wealthy women who can't or won't nurse their own babies.
But when her own child is sold by her father and sent to a London lady who had recently lost a baby, Susan manages to convince his new foster mother, Mrs. Norbert, to hire her as a wet nurse. Once reunited with her son, Susan discovers the Norbert home to be a much more sinister place than she'd ever expected. Dark and full of secrets, its master is in India, and the first baby who died there did so under very mysterious circumstances. Susan embarks on a terrifying journey to rescue her son before he meets the same fate.
My review: 3 stars
I love a large, unattractive main character that you root for the whole way! I enjoyed the idea of this book more than the story told because it was, in my opinion, too predictable. Susan’s wit, sense of humor, common sense and keen ability to read people kept me turning the pages though. The vignettes throughout the book that described why families sent their children to wet nurses I liked, however once the plot picked up they became a slight nuisance. Cleverly though, the author then tied in the characters/babes that were in the vignettes into Susan's story.
Tags: 2011, Historical Fiction, England, Book Club
Labels: 2011, Book Club, England, Historical Fiction