Review: The Midwife of Hope River, by Patricia Harman

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I picked up this book on a recommendation from Amazon, it was on sale and it had some pretty good reviews. Plus I wanted a bit of a change after reading some fantasy books. I have always said that I think I was born in the wrong era, and books like this remind me of that. Patience Murphy is a midwife in the 1930’s, and there’s so much struggle in her life it seems overwhelming. The reader is constantly reminded of what a harsh world Patience lives in, with very little happiness shed her way.

That being said, when she does get to experience a bit of happiness, you really feel for her. The author takes the time to flesh out each character so that even though Patience is disconnected from her community, the reader doesn’t feel the same way. In fact I found the writing so well done that it was one of those very few books that I could not put down, and I think I finished reading it in two or three days.

I didn’t agree or enjoy everything about the story, especially Patience’ past that always comes up to haunt her. It sounded a bit too unbelievable to me but the writing was fantastic, and I was able to bypass these small discrepancies. It was the perfect book to curl up on the couch with, a nice hot mug of tea in hand.

Reading about the births and deaths that Patience attended, and how she coped with each one (and how the families coped with each one) really made me appreciate what I have in my own life. The author did a wonderful job of conveying the emotion felt and the miracle of birth. Over all I was incredibly pleased with this spontaneous purchase.

 

4/5 stars

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