Occasionally I get books from Penguin to read and review. The books typically involve midwifery in some aspect. I was absolutely delighted at the latest sending! I've read other books by author Patricia Harman, such as The Blue Cotton Gown, and absolutely love her work. Her newest book, The Midwife of Hope River, did not disappoint.
This fiction piece focuses on Appalachian midwife Patience Murphy. Patience has come to midwifery in a roundabout way, having left her most recent job as a wet nurse, she meets an established midwife in the city. They eventually move to the Appalachians, on the run from political activism resulting in the death of Patience's husband. Here, they find a population in desperate need of midwifery care. In the midst of segregation, depression era conditions, and Patience's own fears and loss, she discovers a new chance at life. She becomes involved in both white and black communities, tending to their childbirth needs, in conditions that I could never imagine working in. She rediscovers a woman's capability and strength to overcome and triumph the harshest conditions, even falling in love again.
Being a midwife, I found the political climate and conditions shocking. I couldn't imagine having to work under those conditions. This book is easy to read, as Patricia's other books are, and I had to pace myself to not get through it in a couple days! I recommend!