Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Wet Nurse's Tale, Erica Eisdorfer

"Susan Rose is promiscuous, loveable, plump, and scheming—especially when it comes to escaping life as a kitchen drudge in Victorian England. Luckily for Susan, her big heart is coverd by an equally big bosom, and her bosom is her fortune—for Susan becomes a professional wet nurse, like her mother before her. But while scullery maids and cooks live below stairs, a wet nurse lives upstairs, and if she’s like Susan, she makes it her business to know all the intrigues and scandals that the upper-crust would prefer to keep to themselves. When her own child is caught up in a family scandal, Susan must use her plentiful street-smarts to rescue her baby from the powerful mistress of the house. The scheme she weaves is bold, daring, and could spell ruin for her if she fails—but Susan Rose has no shortage of gumption. Bright, clever, and with a crackling wit all her own, Susan is an irresistible heroine. THE WET NURSE’S TALE, is a rich, rollicking portrait of love, life, and motherhood in Victorian England—where things are much less buttoned-up than they seem."

I saw this at Costco with the Elizabeth Gilbert blurb on the cover and immediately added it to my library list. This was a solid, entertaining book. I read the whole thing in one sitting and it was a good "get your mind off stress" kind of story. The second half of the book is definitely more lively than the first and the whole thing takes a turn for an adventure story that had me very worried for Susan near the end. Happily, I can report that I loved the ending of the book. The last pages left me smiling and quite impressed with Erica Eisdorfer's clever plot.

"The minute I find a man who can at once hold a baby and hand round the bread and cheese, that's the man I'll fall in love with." Susan Rose describing her ideal man (please be a certain friendly dentist!) p.158

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