- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (Oct. 11 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0764204793
- ISBN-13: 978-0764204791
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.6 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 386 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Lady Of Milkweed Manor Paperback – Oct 11 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
In this inspirational historical romance debut novel set in 19th-century England, a young pregnant woman is forced to make difficult choices. Twenty-year-old Charlotte Lamb is the daughter of a heartless English vicar, as we discover when she becomes pregnant and he throws her out of her childhood home. Vulnerable and unprotected, she is forced to a lodging place for unwed mothers. Soon, Lamb must make decisions involving true love and sacrifice, providing many powerful turning points throughout the story. Although Klassen occasionally lapses into back-to-back dialogue, her prose is generally smooth, and Charlotte has the reader's sympathy from the earliest pages. The amount of information about wet nurses, lactation and breastfeeding can become weighty, although often intriguing (such as the practice of using goats to directly feed foundling infants to avoid the spread of syphilis). Faith themes are subtly woven throughout. The reader will need to suspend disbelief to enjoy some of the plot twists, especially the happily-ever-after ending, which provides the redemptive conclusion common to Christian fiction. A bonus is the milkweed poetry, lore and symbolism knitted into the narrative. Both readers of faith fiction and general readers of historical romance should enjoy this lovely first offering from Klassen. (Jan.)Cut to the Quick (reviewed Oct. 29) will be published in July 2008.
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From the Back Cover
As Charlotte drew closer to the looming grey edifice that was to become her temporary home, she could not help but notice the secretive shuttered windows. Then she noticed the milkweeds...
Even a proper vicar's daughter can make a mistake--and now Charlotte Lamb must pay a high price for her fall. To avoid the prying eyes of all who know her, she hides herself away in London's forbidding "Milkweed Manor," a place of mystery and lore, of old secrets and new birth.
But once there, she comes face to face with a suitor from her past--a man who now hides secrets of his own. Both are determined, with God's help, to protect those they love. But neither can imagine the depth of sacrifice that will be required.
Sprinkled with fascinating details about the lives of women in Regency England, Lady of Milkweed Manor is a moving romantic drama about the redemption of past failings and the beauty of sacrificial love.
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Upon her arrival she discovers that a former suitor, whom her father rejected as unsuitable, is one of the physicians at the institution. Mr. Taylor, now married, and dealing with his own array of personal issues, reconnects with Charlotte. The relationship between the couple is chaste and proper given their circumstances that each character is in.
Upon the birth of her son, Charlotte makes a gut-wrenching choice for baby in order for him to have the life she would never be able to provide him.
Daniel’s wife is mentally unstable and ultimately loses her to an accident during a delusional episode. (A story element reminiscent of Wuthering Heights).
The story’s strength, in my opinion, is not in the relationship between the couple, but in the depth of detail and accuracy of what a woman’s life was like at this time. Society had little forgiveness for a woman who became pregnant out of marriage, and although Charlotte does have distant family who will assist her, the details of many of the other characters within Milkweed Manor pay testament to the brutal fact, that once a good woman’s virtue is lost it is seldom recovered at this time in history. The environment is grim, and the description of the doorstep babies left for care and the outcomes of the syphilitic babies is heartbreaking to read about.
This book is positioned as inspirational and Christian Romance, so I understand and enjoyed that the interaction between Charlotte and Daniel was chaste and appropriate for the times and their relative stations in life. However, the expression of the growing affection was so slow and subtle, that romance component just didn’t register as emotionally satisfying and felt a tad rushed at the end of the book.
The author skillfully wove the theme of forgiveness throughout the book. If you are looking for a riveting read that will anchor you into another time, with a story about God’s love and forgiveness, then place this book on your “to be read” list.
The story's downfall is that it's rather disjointed at times... Going back and forth between time periods. It makes it confusing when you have people popping back into the story, when several chapters before, their relationships had been severed.
But, all in all, I am glad I read the book. I loved the historical details and the flawed but strong character possessed by the heroine of the story.
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