• Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 3, 2015)
The Great Depression has hit West Virginia hard. Men are out of work; women struggle to feed hungry children. Luckily, Nurse Becky Myers has returned to care for them. While she can handle most situations, Becky is still uneasy helping women deliver their babies. For these mothers-to-be, she relies on an experienced midwife, her dear friend Patience Murphy.
Harman successfully sketches the harshness of the 1930’s. The Great Depression at the center as well as a tragic wildfire. Despite the desperation, the lack of food and work, in some instances homelessness, people pull together and hold out a helping hand and/or open their doors. Neighbor looking after and supporting their fellow neighbor. Inspiring and uplifting of the sense of community in the face of difficult trials as struggles were shared together.
Becky isn’t easy to like, in fact she’s downright cold and aloof. I was’t sure if she would grow, as the story continues, the reader is given glimpses of hope. A skilled nurse but her bedside manner clearly lacking – her frustration with Blum infuriated me at times. She possesses a kind heart, however, you find yourself straining to see the goodness. Yes Becky has had her share of heartache but my goodness she is so pessimistic. She’s on the edge of giving up hope, after a while it becomes increasingly frustrating. Patience is Becky’s polar opposite, amazing given her incredibly painful past, yet she is optimistic, warm, approachable and unlike Becky she enjoys midwifery. Two differing women with their perspectives under a lens.
A solid story during a trying time in history, midwifery along with it’s challenges and triumphs probed.
Patricia Harman, CNM, got her start as a lay midwife on rural communes and went on to become a nurse-midwife on the faculty of Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, and West Virginia University. She lives near Morgantown, West Virginia; has three sons; and is the author of two acclaimed memoirs.
To enter to win a copy of The Reluctant Midwife please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US residents only. Ends 3/24/15
Excited to be participating in the tour for Patricia Harman’s The Reluctant Midwife, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 20 March. Thank you TLC!