MANY TOP-BOOK DESIGNATIONS, including these:

REVIEW EXCERPTS

Lilli’s inspiring power and touching determination are timeless.
— PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
★ 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.
— Susan Santa, LIBRARY JOURNAL
[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.
— KIRKUS REVIEWS
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.
— Fran Hawthorne, NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS
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.
— Maria Corley, BROAD STREET REVIEW

TWENTY-ONE BOOK BUB LISTS, including these: 

  •  Best Historical Fiction 2017: 22 Books You Don't Want to Miss
  • 18 New Historical Fiction Novels to Read with Your Book Club
  •  The Most-Anticipated Books of Summer 2017
  • These Are the Most Popular Books of 2017
  • The Biggest Debut Novels 2017: Breakthrough Books to Add to Your List
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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.
— MAURICE ON BOOKS
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.
— Steve Pfarrer, AMHERST BULLETIN and DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
A striking historical and feminist debut that highlights the power of motherhood and honors the silent strength of women.
— BUSTLE
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.
— Susan Barr-Toman, LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS
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.
— BOOK RIOT
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.
— BOOKPAGE
 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."