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.
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Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
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  1. This isn't one I would normally pick for myself, but it does sound interesting. Thanks for mentioning it. :-)

  2. This sounds like it will touch me in many ways. I'd like to read it:)

    My Friday 56 from One Of Windsor

  3. Thanks for sharing this new-to-me author and series. I'm putting it on my someday list.

  4. A woman in labor in the last one and a still born baby in this one. Heart-wrenching, but usually it makes for great reading! Happy weekend!

  5. Interesting book. Sounds like on I would like.

  6. I am drawn in by the setting and the era...and I always love reading about midwives and their challenges.

    Thanks for sharing, Sandra, and for visiting my blog.

  7. I'm adding this to my to-read list! Thanks!

  8. This sounds like a book I would enjoy reading and I'm adding it to my list. It's amazing how people in the past were able to get along with so little and we - the ones who have grown up with so much - seem to never be satisfied - reads like this help to keep me humble! Thanks for visiting my Friday meme earlier1

  9. I bet this series would be popular at my library.

    Lauren @ Always Me

  10. Sounds really good. Have a great weekend!

  11. I can only imagine how terrifying childbirth was during those times. Women sure are strong. Happy weekend!

  12. Infant and mother mortality were definitely high back then.
    By the way, although this book starts off with a stillborn birth, the majority of the midwife's deliveries resulted in happy endings.

  13. I think I might need to read this one.


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