Wyncote’s Janet Benton Receives Rave Reviews for Her Debut Novel

Wyncote’s Janet Benton debut novel “Lilli De Jong,” about young, unwed Quaker woman in 1880s Philadelphia, is earning the writer rave reviews. Image via Philly Voice

The debut novel by Wyncote’s Janet Benton “Lilli De Jong” is earning the writer rave reviews, writes Linda Finarelli for Times Chronicle.

The historical fiction tells the story of a young Quaker woman in late nineteen century Philadelphia. Abandoned by her lover and forced to leave her home and job as a teacher, she gives birth in a home for unwed mothers. When she is told she has to give up her baby, she instead braves moral condemnation and financial ruin to keep her child.

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The story, in the form of a diary, gives voice to women who worked as wet nurses in Victorian times. Benton found much of the inspiration for her book in her adopted city, Philadelphia.

Germantown in particular, helped fuel her imagination thanks to its layers of past and present that join together seamlessly.

Jamie Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, describes Benton’s novel as “a powerful, authentic voice for a generation of woman whose struggles were erased from history, a heart-smashing debut that completely satisfies.”

Read more about Janet Benton’s novel at Times Chronicle by clicking here

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