Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Midwife of Hope River - The #Friday56 and #BookBeginnings on Friday

Patricia Harman's Hope River novels vividly capture life in West Virginia during the Great Depression. In The Midwife of Hope River Patience Murphy delivers the babies of Appalachian mothers whether rich or poor, black or white, often under difficult circumstances. The author takes the reader to dangerous coal mines, explores racial attitudes, and shows the reality of childbirth during that era. The plot captured me from the very first as I watched Patience deal with a difficult past (she'd been orphaned and widowed and had been accused of a crime) and yet find joy in bringing new life into the world. The story is touching, funny, and eye-opening. One of the most memorable books I've read.

The Midwife of Hope River is Book #1 in the Hope River Series. I featured The Reluctant Midwife (Book #2) on my blog earlier: Here.  Both books stand alone, and I highly recommend them. 
FYI: Patricia Harman worked for over thirty years as a midwife and has an MSN in Nurse-Midwifery. She knows her stuff.

Book Beginning:
     "How long do you think my baby's been dead?" Katherine turns toward me, and I can tell she's still crying.
     "Five days, maybe less," I answer my patient. "I heard the heartbeat when I checked you last Friday, and you said the baby moved during church. Shut your eyes now. Try. You need to rest."

Friday 56 (from 56% on my Kindle):
     At last we are getting produce from the garden, small peas that we eat without shelling, lettuce, and chard. We enjoyed Hannah's bacon and we fish in the river, but we are down to a cup of flour, the sugar is gone, and our money jar is empty except for a few last coins. I stare at them now, scattered on the table, as I pull on my town shoes.

Genre: Historical Women's Fiction
Book Length: 403 Pages
Amazon Link: The Midwife of Hope River
Author Website:  Patricia Harman

Synopsis (from Amazon):
A remarkable new voice in American fiction enchants readers with a moving and uplifting novel that celebrates the miracle of life. In The Midwife of Hope River, first-time novelist Patricia Harmon transports us to poverty stricken Appalachia during the Great Depression years of the 1930s and introduces us to a truly unforgettable heroine. Patience Murphy, a midwife struggling against disease, poverty, and prejudice—and her own haunting past—is a strong and endearing character that fans of the books of Ami McKay and Diane Chamberlain will take into their hearts, as she courageously attempts to bring new light, and life, into an otherwise cruel world.


Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
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Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
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Little Free #Libraries

"Take a book, return a book." I'm over at Smart Girls Read Romance today, blogging about Little Free Libraries. Check it out HERE.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Are You There Erma? It's Me, Gayle. - #TeaserTuesday and First Paragraph/First Chapter/Tuesday Intros

    In the introduction to Are You There, Erma? It's Me, Gayle, the author writes, "I wanted to write like Erma [Bombeck.] After all, we shared the same birthday as well as the same sense of humor." She got her wish and wrote a column for the Placentia News-Times, her local newspaper. This book is a collection of some of those columns. (Her first two years of columns are shared in What Would Erma Do? Confessions of a First-Time Humor Columnist.)
    Carline has also authored mysteries, romantic suspense, and a memoir. I haven't read her books in those genres, but if her sense of humor comes through in them, they've got to be fun!

First Paragraph: 
Column: "So You Want to Have a Resolution"
    Every year I swear not to make any New Year's resolutions, and every year I can't resist making a few, anyway. It's like trying on clothes you wouldn't normally choose, just to see how they look. I attempt to change my behavior, to see if a new year can make a new me.
    I picked two resolutions to try on this year; I hope one of them fits.

Teaser (from 18% on my Kindle):
Column: Tripping On An Anniversary
    I'm convinced that wolves mate for life because they can't speak English. When the female snaps at the male, she can only mean, "Stop it!" And there is nothing for the male in wolf-speak that translates to, "Stop what?"

Genre: Humor
Book Length: 254 Pages
Amazon Link: Are You There, Erma?
Author Website: Gayle Carline

Synopsis (from Amazon):
When Gayle Carline clawed her way into her local newspaper office and groveled until they gave her a weekly humor column, she worried about not having enough material. Then she took a look at her life. Nearly every week something in her house or car needs repair, her son doesn't know why being able to see his carpet is a big deal, and her husband believes less is more, especially when it comes to communication. In What Would Erma Do, she chronicled her first two years as a paid exaggerator. Now she's back with two more years of merriment, along with editorial high jinks and readers' opinions. It's the most fun she's ever had without a credit card.

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Jenn of Books and A Beat. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please!

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Naches Peak Loop Trail, #MtRainier - Saturday Snapshots

The September 16 hike along the Naches Peak Loop Trail is my favorite, so far. Cool, sunshiny weather; friendly group of hikers; beauty everywhere. I took about fifty photos but I'll only share my favorites.
[Click on photos to enlarge.]

And... we're off! This is designated as a wilderness area, and groups were limited to twelve people. We numbered fourteen so we broke up into two separate groups. 

When I saw the sign saying our hike was part of the Pacific Crest Trail, I felt like Cheryl Strayed from Wild (but without the heavy pack and emotional baggage!)

I hope the presence of the two women on the trail will give you an idea of the vastness of our surroundings.

We walked through forests, in open meadows, and alongside dramatic rock walls.

Lunch break ...

... with a great view.

During the second half of the hike, Mount Rainier dominated the horizon.

We passed several alpine lakes along the way.

Good view of Mount Adams to the south.

Breathtaking view of our famous volcano. I hope the blue ice in the glaciers shows up in the enlarged view of this picture.

The hike started and ended at Tipsoo Lake.

As a reward for our workout, we stopped at Wapiti Woolies. I had an ice cream sundae -- vanilla ice cream topped with local huckleberries. 

More info and a map of the trail