Patience Murphy is a lay midwife in Appalachia during the deplorable conditions of the Great Depression. She takes the jobs that no one else wants with the smallest amount of pay, sometimes even receiving just a chicken - but in return, she is able to help many a mother in need. Her job means she must be open and trustworthy, but Patience has many secrets that are too intimate to ever let anyone know - for instance, her name is not really Patience and she landed in West Virginia on the run. She ends up opening her heart to a veterinarian named Daniel, and has an apprentice named Bitsy - which the KKK is not thrilled about, because Bitsy is black.
I've never read a book that was really from a midwife's perspective, so this was a new one for me. It was a fascinating read. The author herself is a midwife, so not only is that close to her heart, she knows what she is talking about, and it shows in her writing. I really liked Patience's character, even though she had been through so much, she hung in there and did things so many wouldn't have. Sometimes we forget that there was a time in this country when crossing the railroad tracks could be dangerous, running water wasn't the norm, and many women died in childbirth. The author's writing flows, and it makes it hard to put down the book. Even if this isn't your usual subject matter, give it a chance - I don't think you'll be disappointed at all!
The book also contains a Q & A with the author, some discussion questions for book clubs, and a few facts about midwives and childbirth.
The Midwife Of Hope River by Patricia Harman is a paperback fiction book published by William Morrow. It is 382 pages long. The suggested cover price is $14.99, but Amazon has it available for $9.88 as of this posting. It is also available as an e-book for the Kindle and other e-readers.
I received a copy of this book in order to read it and share my thoughts on it. All opinions are my own and not that of the author(s) or publisher.