Even a proper vicar's daughter can make a mistake...and now Charlotte Lamb must pay a high price for her fall after becoming pregnant by a married man, Charles Harris, that she loves. Her heartless English vicar father throws her out and disowns her. To avoid the prying eyes of all who know her, she hides herself away in London's forbidding "Milkweed Manor," a place for unwed mothers. Once there she comes face to face with a suitor from her past - a man, Dr. Daniel Taylor, who now hides secrets of his own with a wife who suffered from postpartum depression and anxiety so bad she is practically a lunatic.
Only a few days after her child, Edmond is born, Charles Harris's wife gives birth to a son, but the child dies and his wife, Kathryn Harris, Charlotte's distant cousin, is on the brink of death. Dr. Taylor is summoned to help with the child, but while Kathryn Harris is sleeping with the help of laudanum, the child dies. Harris and Taylor bring the child to Mildweed Manor. Charlotte now has to make the decision of whether to give her son, Edmond to his father to raise as a proper English aristocrat or give him the life of ruin as the son of an unwed mother. She chooses to give her son to Charles to raise.
In the meantime, Dr. Taylor's wife gives birth to a baby girl, but because of the postpartum depression wants nothing to do with infant daughter, Anne. Dr. Taylor provides Charlotte a job by being this child's wet nurse and eventually becomes the child's nanny.
In the end, Daniel Taylor looses his wife; Charles Harris's wife, Kathryn gives birth to another child and they both die. But both men want Charlotte's affection in her being their wives...but who will she pick? Charles Harris? Who has her son? Or Dr. Daniel Taylor, whose daughter, Anne she now adores? And, what happens to Edmond and Anne as they become adults...?
It's a story you'll just want to read!
Julie Klassen's musings about the book (from her website):
When I first began researching Lady of Milkweed Manor, I had never been to the UK. Through Web sites and old maps, I chose Doddington (Kent) as my character's birthplace - charmed by what I'd read about the place and how relatively unchanged it seemed. The old vicarage, however, had fallen out of church use by then and into private ownership. Even if I vistited Doddington someday, I reasoned, I could do no more than look upon its exterior and try to imagine it's rooms and what it might have been like to live there.
Two year later, when the book was finished and I learned it would be published, I decided I could finally justify my long desire to travel to England to see the places I'd written about. How serendipitous to discover that the Old Vicarage had just become a bed and breakfast! I could barely believe I would be able to stay in "Charlotte's childhood home". Nick and Claire Finley were wonderful hosts, and our stay with them was a highlight of our trip.
About Julie Klassen (from her website):
I love all things Jane - Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, I worked in publishing for sixteen years and now write full time. Three of my books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park won the Minnesota Book Award and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America's RITA awards. I have also been honor with the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award. I enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.