Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The Wet Nurse's Tale by Erica Eisdorfer
The Wet Nurse's Tale by Erica Eisdorfer took me by complete surprise. I anticipated a story about a proper young woman, working her way through life as a wet nurse. Well, that was her occupation but proper - maybe not. When I read novels based in Victorian England, I expect certain things. I expect characters with high morals, great expectations, and a fair bit of romance. I don't know why I expect that but I do.
The main character, and narrator, of The Wet Nurse's Tale is Susan Rose. She is hard working, chunky, and opinionated. You can hear her voice while reading and her character comes alive. She's quite the character. When her ordinary life takes a turn, the reader can see the determination in her spirit. She's a mother who would do whatever it takes to protect her child.
I wasn't sure what to think at the beginning of the book. I was a little worried that the book was going to be a bit too focused on breasts - as they were necessary for her occupation. I was distracted by short essays between chapters as I wasn't sure who or what the narrator was talking about at the beginning. There wasn't a great deal of story the first one hundred pages or so, more set up than anything. Once the main plot begins, it's a quick ride to the conclusion and it's a good ride. The novel is well written and the character will not leave me for a long while.
I recommend this book to those who like historical fiction and women's fiction. It is an adult book and due to language and mature subjects, it's not appropriate for young teens.