What I Loved: I stumbled across this book as I was perusing Amazon’s Kindle library. The synopsis grabbed me and I was not disappointed! The relationship between the two main characters, Lisbeth and Mattie was so beautiful. I loved being able to watch their relationship develop from Lisbeth’s birth. While the story covers a terrible part of American history, the story of these two people was beautiful.
How I Felt:
I am always intrigued by stories of the south before the civil war. I quickly become engrossed in these books, specifically if it covers escape to freedom, which this one does! I really appreciated the author’s ability to show me Mattie’s perspective of this story. As a young mother and slave, she is taken from her very young baby to nurse the brand new baby, Lisbeth at the Big House. Her sadness at the loss of early motherhood moments with her son struck me to the core, but I loved the development of her loving and tender feelings towards Lisbeth.
This book was a bit different from many stories that I have read like this, as the focus of the book was on the relationship between a child and her nurse. It focused greatly on Lisbeth’s experiences in life and how those affected Mattie. This also worked in reverse, as Mattie’s life experiences leave a lasting impression on Lisbeth. Her opinion of the world and her family are forever changed by what she sees in Mattie.
Content Warnings: Slavery and use of derogatory names.
To Read or Not To Read: Readers of books like The Kitchen House and The Help will enjoy this book immensely!
What’s This Book About Anyway?
At birth, Lisbeth is given a young slave as a wet nurse. Mattie, the nurse, is a new mother herself, but is removed from her cabin and baby to live in the Big House and care for Lisbeth. At first Mattie is resentful of little Lisbeth, as she is THE reason Mattie has been taken away from her baby, but she grows to love the little baby, caring for her day and night. Mattie looks forward to each morning and evening as she gets the chance to look out the window to see her little son as he enters and leaves their cabin.
As Lisbeth nears her first birthday, a brother is born and Mattie is taken from Lisbeth and assigned to the new baby. Mattie is heartbroken at this change and Lisbeth is despondent. She becomes so ill, Lisbeth’s mother finally calls for a change assigning Mattie permanently to Lisbeth. From there, the two bond and grow together. This book takes us through Lisbeth’s childhood and into early adulthood. It brings their story to life with beautifully written words and leaves you wanting more at the end.
Where To Find This Book:
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