Book Reviews

Book Review: Lillian De Jong


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To be a mother in this country is to know shame. Shame for putting on weight while pregnant. Shame for what a mother feeds her child or let them drink. Shame if you work and shame if you don’t work. If you don’t think it’s that bad just look at any post made by a mother on social media.

The concept of mommy shaming has thick roots in American history, as is evident in Benton’s excellently researched novel, Lilli De Jong. Through this story, we follow Lilli as she finds herself having to make one almost impossible choice after another.

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After getting kicked out of her home she finds her way to Haven, a home for unmarried women. Unwed mothers weren’t left with many choices and what few choices Lilli puts her and her child at risk.

Told through a series of journal entries, Lilli’s voice is clear and strong, reaching out through the pages to remind us that the struggle of mothers is still very real no matter what century it is and that their rights are human rights.


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