Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Midwife of Hope River
by Patricia Harman

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 382
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  A debut novel featuring Patience Murphy, an Appalachian midwife in the 1930s struggling against disease, poverty, and prejudices-and her own haunting past-to bring new light, and life, into an otherwise cruel world

As a midwife working in the hardscrabble conditions of Appalachia during the Depression, Patience Murphy's only solace is her gift: the chance to escort mothers through the challanges of childbirth. Just beginning, she takes on the jobs no one else wants: those most in need-and least likely to pay. Patience is willing to do what it takes to fulfill her mentor's wishes, but starting a midwife practice means gaining trust, and Patience's secrets are too fragile to let anyone in.


Kritters Thoughts:  The first in a series that takes place in rural West Virginia right as The Depression is hitting the entire country and life in every city is getting harder and families just can't make ends meet.  

Patience Murphy has had quite the life before she finds herself in West Virginia.  Thankfully she has been taken under the wing of a renowned midwife and is able to learn the skills to become a top notch midwife to a town that is getting hit hard.  She has a "colored" girl move into her home and become an apprentice and their friendship keeps each of them going through the rough times.

The author successfully unravels Patience's back story throughout the book without the reader feeling left out of the loop.  I loved that stories within each chapter were labeled, they added just a little something extra to the reading experience.

Not being a mom, I couldn't imagine the craziness of some of these births, but it sure didn't motivate me to go down that road!  I loved how Patience journaled the births we read and even those that didn't make the full novel.  

I am a fan and am excited to review the companion or second in the series tomorrow, check back for that review.


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

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