Happy July, everyone! I hope everyone in America had a wonderful Fourth of July celebration with family and friends. I sure did…and saw some pretty fireworks too!
I’ve had a couple of very busy months. First June with a week long visit from my amazing niece and then July with work, life, and reading. I have a few book reviews lined up including the bestselling Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and Ruth Ware’s upcoming August release, The Turn of the Key. But today, I’d like to share my review of the debut novel from a new author who I personally hope to see more books from in the future.
Milked by Lisa Doyle is marketed as “a modern mommy tale with a retro twist.” The story opens with the main character, Amanda, celebrating her thirtieth birthday with friends at a Chicago bar. This book got bonus points right away for being set in one of the greatest cities in the world! Well Amanda finds herself pregnant and alone shortly down the road (not a spoiler!). Sounds clichéd, right? Well, it’s not. Milked is one of the most original stories I have read in a long time. Sure – going out, drinking, meeting guys, and turning up pregnant might sound like a common modern tale, which it is. But don’t forget – this modern mommy tale has a retro twist!
After becoming a single mom, Amanda finds herself hurting for cash. At the suggestion of a close friend she begins working as a wet nurse for the Chicago elite. If you’re not familiar with what a wet nurse does, it goes far beyond being a nanny. A wet nurse breastfeeds someone else’s baby. Being a wet nurse was actually quite a common thing at one time, but is less so today, as Amanda quickly finds out. She herself needs time to adjust to the idea and even then is nervous to tell those close to her what she really does for a living. But hey, it’s really good money, she gets to help nourish and nurture babies, and she gets a sneak peek into the lives of some of Chicago’s wealthiest citizens – professional athletes, models, actors, and a trendy designer.
In a market flooded with chick lit, Milked was a breath of fresh air. Nannying for the rich has been done many times, but never breastfeeding for the rich! It was nice to read something different for a change. The book was also full of surprises, which kept me turning the pages. And I loved the way Ms. Doyle represented all kinds of mothers in this story – new moms, veteran moms, birth moms, adoptive moms, single moms, married moms, moms in love with their new babies, and those who feel disconnected and alone. This book is really a celebration of mothers.
Not only was the story original, but the writing was excellent. Amanda was a beautifully written character. She was a strong woman, yet vulnerable enough to make her relatable. The book also has a little of everything – romance, some steamy scenes, humor, friendships, heartbreak, and revenge. In short, I loved it, and I hope to see more from Ms. Doyle in the future. If you enjoy the writing styles of Emily Giffin or Amy Poeppel, you should give Lisa Doyle a try!