Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Reluctant Midwife - Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56

In The Reluctant Midwife, author Patricia Harman tells the story of a nurse during the Great Depression. As I followed the character's struggle to survive in severely depressed West Virginia and care for her ailing former employer (Dr. Blum), I wondered how we would cope if a similar economic catastrophe struck today. I'm afraid we wouldn't have the skills to fare as well people did in the 1930s.

The Reluctant Midwife is divided into five sections: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring Again. It is Book #2 in the Hope River series and it stands alone. I'm looking forward to reading Book #1 too.

Book Beginning:
"Holy hell, what's this?" I say to Dr. Blum, who doesn't seem to notice the beat-up black DeSoto with a table tied to the top that's pulled over on the side of the road. A young man, wearing a wool plaid jacket, stands on the berm, waving his hat. "Help. Stop!"
     The newspapers warn us about highwaymen out to do no good, robbers who pose as distressed travelers in these hard times, lure do-gooders to help them, and then at gunpoint take all their money and valuables. Slowing, I see a women in the front seat, her feet on the dashboard and her face wild with pain. It's only that face that compels me to stop.

The Friday 56 (from 56% on my Kindle):
"We all have hard lives, Becky. Don't you know that? Sometimes you just have to take your wounded heart out, stitch it up, stuff it back in your chest, and go on ...."

Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
Amazon Link: The Reluctant Midwife
Length: 432 pages
Author Website: Patricia Harman

Synopsis: The USA Today bestselling author of The Midwife of Hope River returns with a heartfelt sequel, a novel teeming with life and full of humor and warmth, one that celebrates the human spirit.
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.
Though she is happy to be back in Hope River, time and experience have tempered Becky’s cheerfulness-as tragedy has destroyed the vibrant spirit of her former employer Dr Isaac Blum, who has accompanied her. Patience too has changed. Married and expecting a baby herself, she is relying on Becky to keep the mothers of Hope River safe.
But becoming a midwife and ushering precious new life into the world is not Becky’s only challenge. Her skills and courage will be tested when a calamitous forest fire blazes through a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. And she must find a way to bring Isaac back to life and rediscover the hope they both need to go on.
Full of humor and compassion, The Reluctant Midwife is a moving tribute to the power of optimism and love to overcome the most trying circumstances and times, and is sure to please fans of the poignant Call the Midwife series.


Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
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Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
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Nicole MissDotHacker said...

I looked up The Reluctant Midwife not too long ago. It seems like it could be a cute read. Happy Friday!
Here is my Friday 56:

Anne Bennett said...

I think I would really like this book as I am always fascinated by medical things and enjoy historical fiction.

Kate Unger said...

Wow. Great advice from 56%! Sounds like a good read.

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian said...

I have to check this one out. I like the plot and the 56%.

My Friday post:

JC Jones said...

Good advise from a tough time to live. I think you are right, we would not do as well.

Kathy Martin said...

Sounds good. I hope you are enjoying it. This week I am spotlighting Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Mary Wingate - a cozy mystery. Happy reading!

Breana M. said...

Interesting, I hope you enjoy it. :D

Elizabeth B said...

Sounds like a powerful story. I'll have to get it.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Love the sound of this one! Thanks for sharing...and enjoy. Here's mine: “AT RISK”

Katherine P said...

This one has been on the edges of my TBR for quite awhile. It sounds really great! Hope you love it!

Lauren Stoolfire said...

I've always been interested in this time period. Sounds good!

Check out my Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings) and The Harry Potter Tag.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

The Depression era is fascinating to me. How did people get through that terrible time? This story showed how one some people coped.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I enjoyed the medical details included in this story. Fascinating!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. It seems I need to put this on my TBR! I will look for Book 1 also!

Here is mine:

Diane Coto said...

Yes, I remember now the "Holy hell ..." opener. :) I read and loved this book. Highly recommended.
@dino0726 from 
FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

Melinda Ott said...

I hope you enjoy this book! It does stand alone in the series--I actually felt that it was QUITE different from the first book (not better or worse, just different).

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I may have seen this book on your blog. I definitely enjoyed it.

Laura Thomas said...

I hope I never have to find out if I could endure it. I'd like to read more:)Have a wonderful weekend.

Here's my 56 -

Nadene Reynolds said...

Your Friday 56 is spot on. So realistic. Hope you are enjoying it. Thanks for visiting my blog earlier.
Nadene@Totally Addicted to Reading.

Nadene Reynolds said...

Your Friday 56 is spot on. So realistic. Hope you are enjoying it. Thanks for visiting my blog earlier.
Nadene@Totally Addicted to Reading.

Laurie Brown said...

I've got to get hold of this book at some point! It really sounds great.

judy said...

Everything about the post is tasteful. I can't imagine what the protestor found offensive! Good job, as always, Sandy!

Mary Jane said...

At first I though it was A Reliable Wife... My traitor eyes!
Anyway, I love that this was divided by seasons! Also, that's a great excerpt/snippet.
Happy reading!

Jane @ the bookdragon

Harvee Lau - Book Dilettante said...

I have heard that midwives are coming back into popularity, for those who want a home birth!

fredamans said...

Definitely a woman in labor in that beginning. Sounds like a solid story.
Happy weekend!

Jacqueline Gum said...

Loved The Mid-Wife of Hope River, so I will definitely get this one! Thanks for the teaser:)

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Sandra,

Looking at the chaos caused by the recent economic crisis, a catastrophe on the scale of the depression just doesn't bear thinking about. Not just as individual nations, but as a World population, we are singularly ill-equipped to withstand the pressures and hardships we would have to endure and conquer.

When we all had less, there was more of a comaraderie and a sense of sharing and pulling together in a crisis. However, in today's selfish, self-centred and money driven times, I am more than certain that it would be every man, woman and child for themselves!

Which leads very nicely into those very apt Friday 56 lines, with no truer a word being said. I have never watched the 'Call The Midwife' series, nor read the books. However, knowing so little about the US in the time period of 'The Reluctant Midwife', apart from what I recall from the history books, I am very tempted to give this one a try.

Thanks for sharing and enjoy your weekend :)


Sherrie said...

My Book Club read this book, it was a really good book. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Funny, I'm in the very beginning of the Millennial generation, and I was thinking today how different the world we've inherited is from the one that the Baby Boomers grew up in. Then I stopped myself and thought, "Every generation always thinks they have it worse than the last." Then reconsidered because, "No,I doubt anyone that Great Depression was better than what they grew up with." There is something to all of that post-apocalyptic young adult literature out there now, though. I see a genuine concern that something like this will happen again, although, yes, uncertainty as to how to cope if it does.

Allison said...

I just put Call the Midwife TV series into my Netflix streaming cue and so this title caught my eye. Reluctant Midwife sounds like an interesting read!