Lilli’s inspiring power and touching determination are timeless.
★ Starred review
Benton has written a captivating, page-turning, and well-researched novel about the power of a mother’s love and the stark reality of the choices she must make. VERDICT A great choice for book clubs and readers of Geraldine Brooks.
[Benton] seamlessly weaves accurate historical detail as well as disturbing societal norms into the protagonist’s struggles. . . . [What a] monumental accomplishment the novel achieves. An absorbing debut from a writer to watch.
A brilliantly quiet novel with a spine of steel.
— Ilana Masad, "RIF’s Favorite Reads of May 2017," READ IT FORWARD
Janet Benton’s remarkable novel LILLI DE JONG is historical fiction that transcends the genre and recalls a past world so thoroughly that it breathes upon the page. From the first sentence, Lilli’s sensitive, observant, determined voice casts an irresistible spell.
— Valerie Martin, author of MARY REILLY and PROPERTY, Orange Prize winner
You would be hard-pressed to find a more intimate—even revolutionary—depiction of the emotional and sensory experiences of motherhood.
— Patricia Sullivan, UMASS MAGAZINE
A new feminist classic for Trump-era America.
— Elizabeth Licorish, PHILLY VOICE
Benton has written a powerful work steeped in history, one that highlights the sacrifices, and rich rewards, of being a mother.
— Erin Kodicek, Amazon's "Best Books of the Month," OMNIVORACIOUS
A gorgeous paean to the courage and ferocity of a mother’s love, Lilli de Jong pays homage to the solace of writing through troubling times and will haunt readers long after its denouement.
— Jaclyn Fulwood, SHELF AWARENESS
The debut novel LILLI DE JONG is almost a feminist version of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, targeting the treatment of women in the 1880s rather than slaughterhouses in the early 20th century. . . . [T]his is a story that needs to be told, especially today, as women’s reproductive rights are threatened again.
She is a full-fledged heroine, persevering despite seemingly insurmountable odds. . . . her voice is distinctive, her fierceness driven by a mother’s love.
— Bridget Thoresen, BOOKLIST
The core of the narrative is the intense, heartfelt connection between a mother and her baby. This gentle love that Lilli and her daughter share and the distress they experience when separated are among the most powerful expressions of the parent-child relationship that I have encountered in contemporary literature.
— Danielle Hoffman, FRIENDS JOURNAL
A powerful, authentic voice for a generation of women whose struggles were erased from history. A heart-smashing debut that completely satisfies.
— Jamie Ford, bestselling author of HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET
Writing with a historical eye akin to Geraldine Brooks and incisive prose matching that of Anthony Doerr . . . an unforgettable and important reflection on the maternal and ultimately the human bond.
— Pam Jenoff, bestselling author of THE KOMMANDANT'S GIRL and THE ORPHAN'S TALE
Beautifully written, emotionally resonant, and psychologically astute . . . A gripping read.
— Christina Baker Kline, #1 NYT bestselling author of ORPHAN TRAIN and A PIECE OF THE WORLD
Lilli de Jong is a virtual maternal hug of a novel that acknowledges the persistence of mothers everywhere.
— Helene Cohen Bludman, BOOKS IS WONDERFUL
A stunning read about the fierceness of love.
— Caroline Leavitt, bestselling author of CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD
It’s not only a compelling, beautifully crafted historical novel, however: it’s also important. As a single young woman desperate to hold onto her baby, Lilli’s life-and-death struggle is shockingly common to women even today.
— Sandra Gulland, internationally bestselling author of JOSEPHINE B. TRILOGY
Benton has a degree in Religious Studies, and it shows. For a longtime bible student like myself, Benton’s questions and analysis show a respect for Christians often lacking in current literature, while questioning the areas that can be problematic.

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LILLI DE JONG by Janet Benton is a tour de force for women. . . . It’s never been easy being a woman with a child and no husband. But this harsh telling seared my soul. I found my heart breaking over and over again for this young woman and her plight. . . . This novel is truly a labor of love to all the unwed mothers past, present, and future.
Benton, who has worked on documentary films and is an exhaustive researcher, provides a glorious, if dark, portrait of 19th-century Philadelphia. . . . These details vividly invoke the past, while Lilli’s fresh passion and insight give the book a voice that is lively and modern. Lilli de Jong is beautifully written and completely absorbing.
— Joanne Green, CLEAVER

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth and Margaret Sanger all made their mark as early American feminists. . . . Had she been real, Lilli de Jong would have been a kindred spirit.
A striking historical and feminist debut that highlights the power of motherhood and honors the silent strength of women.
Sentence by carefully crafted sentence, Benton ensnares the reader.
— Martha Anne Toll, THE MILLIONS
A stunning ode to motherhood. LILLI DE JONG reminds us that there is no formula to being a good mother. Love is the essential ingredient, and only it gives everlasting life to our legacies.
— Sarah McCoy, bestselling author of THE MAPMAKER'S CHILDREN
In detailing the suffering of these women, Benton reminds us that they don’t exist in just the past. . . . Is Benton’s writing about breastfeeding a political act? Probably.
This is both a super lush historical novel and an amazing feminist manifesto. Buy this for your mom, buy this for your boyfriend, buy it for everyone.
Just when the reader is tempted to relegate the significance of this story to the past, an historical novel with a theme for another time, Benton calls forth the struggle of every mother. . . . To raise a child is to ask for heartache and happiness in equal measure, and this novel is a reflection on the sacrifices that all mothers have made for their families in the past and continue to make in the present.
— Jamie Sumner, LITERARY MAMA
[Lilli’s] clear-eyed view of her situation and her fearless questioning of a repressive system makes for exhilarating reading . . . LILLI DE JONG has real resonance in today’s battles over women’s reproductive health and the rights of working mothers.
Click above to read reviews on Goodreads. To ask Janet a question about  Lilli de Jong  on Goodreads ,  visit her page and scroll down to "Ask the Author."

Click above to read reviews on Goodreads. To ask Janet a question about Lilli de Jong on Goodreadsvisit her page and scroll down to "Ask the Author."