Friday, November 13, 2009

Book review: The Wet Nurse's Tale

Yesterday I read a book from cover to cover: The Wet Nurse's Tale, by Erica Eisdorfer. I meant to save it for this morning's work-out session at the gym, but the book was so much fun that it didn't even last a day. It's the story of a young English girl, Sarah Rose, and her adventures as a wet nurse. Sarah is plain but plucky, a plump heroine-of-size who always has a witty retort. There's sex (not too surprising, since nursing involves babies, and babies involve you-know-what), drama, and adventure aplenty. There's a dramatic conclusion where her father sells her son and she must rescue him from a rich woman who is slowly going mad. Lots of little details about day-to-day life in Victorian England make it all the more interesting to read. And, of course, there are lots of babies and lots of breastfeeding.

There are two narratives interwoven in the book. Sarah's is the dominant one, narrated in first-person, as if she were sitting in the room and telling you the tale of her remarkable life. The other story line is of Sarah's mother, who also was a wet nurse for as long as Sarah can remember. This second story is told through short narratives of the women who chose Sarah's mother to nurse their babies.

Give it a read--I'm sure you'll love it!


  1. Interesting! I'll look forward to reading this.

  2. Thanks for the comprehensive review. I started this just before it was due back at the library so didn't finish and was wondering if I should check it out again!

  3. I am about 1/2 way through - and am enjoying it! What a hard time to live and my chest aches when a baby is removed from its mom!

  4. Thank you! I'm in need of a school break. It's not a good time, but my brain may explode, so I think this will be my exception. Off to the library we go!


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