By: Janet Benton
In 1883, Lilli de Jong finds herself abandoned by her fiance and pregnant. She gives birth in a home for unwed mothers and decides to keep her baby. Employment options for women of that time were dismal, but for an unwed mother, they are practically nonexistent. Lilli's only option is to hire herself out as a wet nurse to a wealthy family and to find a place that will feed and keep her own baby. Unfortunately, Lilli's baby faces significant survival challenges in these circumstances. Eventually, Lilli and her baby are forced out on the streets of Philadelphia. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this well written book that deftly portrays the heartbreaking struggles of poor women and children.
By: Michael Finkel
In 1986, twenty-year old Chris Knight walked into the Maine woods and lived the life of a hermit for the following twenty-seven years. Although he lived in a tent, he never lit a fire in that whole time for fear of being discovered. Reluctantly, he stole food, batteries, propane, books and clothes from nearby summer cabins in order to survive. The legend of a local hermit grew as locals tried to find explanations for missing items. Some residents even left notes and bags of books for the hermit. Knight was ultimately caught during one of his robberies and spent time in jail before his trial. Author Michael Finkel was transfixed by Knight's story and made the trip from Montana to Maine several times to interview the reticent Knight. Readers will enjoy this well-written account of a man who was happiest when living alone surrounded by the wilderness.
By: Susan Rivers
Placidia is a strong-willed teenager living on her father's plantation in South Carolina during the Civil War. While attending a wedding, she meets Gryffth Hockaday, a widower with an infant son. After knowing each other for only one day, Gryffth, who must return to the battlefield, asks for and receives Placidia's hand in marriage. Arriving at Gryffth's remote farm, Placidia is left in charge of his land, his son, and his slaves. Life on Gryffth's farm is an enormous and dangerous struggle and years pass without the couple seeing each other. At the end of the war, Gryffth returns to discover rumors that his young wife gave birth to a child in his absence and that she then murdered this child. The reader will discover what really happened. This is an excellent piece of historical fiction.
By: Beth Underdown
Young widow Alice Hopkins returns home to her brother Matthew's house in Essex, England in 1645. In the five years that she has been gone, Matthew, always an awkward child, has become a strict and unforgiving man. Even worse, Alice discovers that Matthew has been charged with rooting out witches in their county. Forced to accompany him on his journeys, Alice resists his commands as much as possible but is horrified to be assisting the witchfinder. Readers will be intrigued to learn that this book is based on actual fact -- Matthew Hopkins did serve as a witchfinder.