Julie Klassen's debut novel, Lady of Milkweed Manor, was a delight to read. The beautiful cover art first caught my eye, and the blurb on the back cover sounded intriguing enough, but one is often wary of debut novelists. I am happy to report that Klassen's work falls prey to none of the usual problems of first-time authors.
The story revolves around a young woman, Miss Charlotte Lamb, a young lady of high-society who finds herself pregnant and unwed in 19th century England. She is banished to a manor for women in her predicament - nicknamed Milkweed Manor due to the milkweeds that grow in abundance all around the place. Charlotte's story is one of heartache and growth, loss and life, and most importantly, love. The love between a mother and child, and the Father and his children is poignantly and thoughtfully portrayed.
She approaches her story with the grace and ease of a seasoned writer. The plot moves smoothly and elegantly, and though predictable at times, will still keep you glued to the page. Klassen's debut is truly a breath of fresh air in a genre that is sorely lacking in skillful writers and researchers. Which brings me to my second point: Klassen is clearly a careful and deliberate researcher, which is just as important to a period-piece as her polished prose. The author is able to effortlessly weave in fascinating and sometimes disturbing facts from the time period.
Lady of Milkweed Manor is definitely worth reading and I look forward to Klassen's future novels with great anticipation.
Wow, what a great book! It was incredibly complex for a debut novel, but Julie Klassen is an excellent storyteller and the characters just suck you in!
The cover is beautiful; it just adds to the realness of the story. I finished it in three days! 5 stars for this beauty, and I'm ready to read more of Julie Klassen!
Upon finishing this novel, I sigh in complete contentment. This is near one of the best novels I have ever had the opportunity to fall deep within the pages and stay for a while.
From beginning to end I had my opinions of how things should go, with the slight twists and turns I never had a clue how the plot would be. Sometimes I could not read fast enough, as a matter of fact most of the time. I would not believe certain things were happening.
This is a perfect novel in regency time and I can see a bit of Austen and Jane Erye. I can easily say that readers of such will enjoy this story. It is alike, but completely unique and what a tale it tells.
Julie Klassen is beyond talented with this work and I am shocked to admit it a debut. You can bet that I will read her new novel coming out soon, The Apothecary's Daughter. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If I were able to surpass five stars, I have not a clue as to how many I would vote.
Throughout this book my heart was breaking. My soul was soaring with joy. It was one of those scenarios where you want to lay the blame, but within yourself you can see that the sinner is not much worse than yourself. Then you attempt to imagine what is going on and put yourself in their place. What would you do? How would you act? What would you want?
On a personal note, if too personal skip it, as a person who suffers depression, I can sometimes see how easy it would be to walk away from situations so hard with any foreseeable future or answer. But oh how incredible God can be when he works things out through time. His plan for us is so much more incredible than we could have ever thought. It really makes a person think.
This was an amazing story! I read the whole thing within 24 hours. She really captures the true essense of her characters, and keeps you guessing from one minute to the next about the plot.
"Charlotte Lamb is a parson's daughter who has fallen on hard times and is virtually left on her own. Going under another name in another town, she runs into an old friend and is terrified that more humiliation will be heaped upon her. But through the grace of God, he becomes her ally and friend. But he has a few secrets of his own-his regard for her when they were young, and the wife no one ever sees. When the person responsible for her fall from grace appears, will she have the strength to do what is honorable? Time will take all of them through many twists and turns of life. "
This was a fast read and definately kept my attention. It was heartbreaking how much Charlotte had to give up when the gentleman got off nearly without any suffering. I was intrigued with the description of the life of a wet nurse. The time period was so different and I cannot imagine having someone do that service for me. One of the storylines reminded me of Rochester and sometimes the connections between character were very convinent, but I still was interested during my read.