I am proud to say that I share the state of North Carolina with Erica Eisdorfer, author of “The Wet Nurse’s Tale”. The writing in this book pulled me in and kept me there. Our wet nurse, Susan Rose, has such a lively voice! She speaks her mind to her “Dear Reader” and doesn’t shy away from the ugly truth of things in Victorian England where she plies her trade. A surprise baby and the retirement of her mother from wet nursing sends her into the nurseries of those who can afford her.
I have always found wet nursing an admirable and yet curious profession. The rich claimed that it would ruin their bodies or take too much from them… but what about the rest of the women who did just fine nursing their own? As a mother I found breastfeeding to be one of the most special times in my life and Susan Rose agrees with me, “…For having a baby’s sweet face so close to your own, for so long a time as it takes to nurse ’em, is a great tonic for a sad soul.”
Susan Rose does not live a life of luxury but she lives in the pages of this book and forever in my memory.