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The Reluctant Midwife: A Hope River Novel

The Reluctant Midwife: A Hope River Novel

Geschrieben von Patricia Harman

Erzählt von Heather Henderson


The Reluctant Midwife: A Hope River Novel

Geschrieben von Patricia Harman

Erzählt von Heather Henderson

Bewertungen:
4/5 (47 Bewertungen)
Länge:
11 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Mar 3, 2015
ISBN:
9780062390301
Format:
Hörbuch

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Beschreibung

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.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Mar 3, 2015
ISBN:
9780062390301
Format:
Hörbuch

Auch als verfügbar...

Auch als buch verfügbarBuch


Über den Autor

Patricia Harman, CNM, got her start as a lay midwife on rural communes and went on to become a nurse-midwife on the faculties of Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, and West Virginia University. She is the author of two acclaimed memoirs and three novels: the bestselling The Midwife of Hope River, The Reluctant Midwife and The Runaway Midwife. She has three sons and lives near Morgantown, West Virginia.


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4.2
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  • (4/5)
    Enjoyable

    I haven't read many books set in this time. Very enjoyable and well written. I will have to look up this author for another book.
  • (4/5)
    The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Hartman: 4/5 stars. An engrossing and fascinating picture of a resilient midwife in the Appalachians during the Great Depression. Enjoyable structure to the writing, deep relationships portrayed, and nuanced storytelling. Recommended!
  • (4/5)
    A beginning midwife tries to outrun her past but instead becomes aware of the racial inequalities of where she now lives . A very entertaining read. I believe readers who enjoy Alice Hoffman's writing would enjoy this story as well.
  • (5/5)
    Great Story of a midwife in West Virginia in the early 1900sWritten by a real Midwife who lived many such tales
  • (4/5)
    Patricia Harman continues to tug at our hearts by inviting us into the lives of the residents of Hope River,West Virginia during the Great Depression. In this novel, she focuses on the career of ex-regional health nurse Becky Myers who returns to Hope River after an absence of approximately 4 years. Nurse Becky, in the first novel, was portrayed as an individual very reluctant to deliver babies. Now, mid-Great Depression, Nurse Becky returns with a very changed Dr. Blum hoping to reestablish themselves in the community and resume their practice. As in the first novel, through the birth stories, and the midwife’s journal, we learn more about the lives of the people of Hope River. Patience Murphy remains a main character who is sidelined forcing Nurse Becky into the role of a reluctant Midwife. The author feeds us a slice of life during a period of time when medicine was in it’s infancy and health professionals struggled with life and death situations daily without the benefit of lifesaving drugs & techniques that we have today. Great character development and ongoing storyline. The audiobook is very well narrated. Recommended for any individual who enjoys historical and/or medical novels.
  • (4/5)
    The Great Depression, racial tensions, and mining conflicts combine to make Patience live a quiet life in Virginia. She records her thoughts, along with the details of the births she attends in her diary. An interesting look at the 1930s and great characters.
  • (4/5)
    This was a fair representation of midwifery in the time of the Great Depression without being unnecessarily graphic. Anecdotes of births (and near births) help summarize and put the times in perspective. I only wish the romance between Patience and Hester (an unfortunate name for the vet) were not so recognizable from a mile away.
  • (5/5)
    This a novel which begins in the 1920's and goes into the Great Depression. It is the story of a young woman, who, through a set of circumstances, loses her husband and then miscarries their child. She ends up being a wet nurse and when she loses that job she flees and takes refuge with a midwife, who becomes her mentor. Eventually, Patience inherits the "job" upon the death of her mentor. This book is about her trials, tribulations, and triumphs. I liked this book because of its broad spectrum. The setting is a small mining town in Appalachian West Virginia. Included in this tale are the struggle of the unions, the hardships of coal mining towns, the KKK, and yes, a bit of romance. Very enjoyable and informative
  • (2/5)
    I should have enjoyed this book - I love stories of midwifery, of the 1920-30s, of small mountain towns, of women and history etc. Unfortunately the writing quality was so poor I almost didn't finish reading it. Not only was it saturated with cliches, but some of the phrases she used weren't anywhere near accurate for the time it was set in (once Patience says "that pisses me off" ...really? in the 30s?) and the conflict/growth was contrived. History was added in a way that spoke more of the author's research than being true to the characters, with the phrase "not many people knew that" used on more than one occasion. The author's choice to write in present tense posed some problems as well. However, if you are mainly interested in reading vivid birth scenes and don't care about writing quality, you may enjoy the book, although even those are rushed and out of place. Overall it was quite shallow and poorly done, failing to evoke any connection with the characters, the setting, the era, or the story.
  • (4/5)
    I was reading another book when this came in the mail. I thought I would read the first few pages to see if I liked the authors style of writing- I did't put the book down! This s a sweet little story that flows like a slow stream and I was drifting along enmeshed totally in rural West Virginia during the 1920's. I am always so thrilled when I find a story I like as much as this- I recommend this highly.
  • (4/5)
    Patience Murphy is a midwife working in rural West Virginia. This book details the path that brought her there, as well as her current practice and life in West Virginia. The plot is interesting, and the births are all detailed and interesting in ways that would uniquely appeal to lay people as well as midwives. Harman brings to bear her considerable life experience to this work of fiction and has created an interesting narrative of one woman's experience living in this time and place. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others.
  • (5/5)
    I loved every page of this book. I was drawn in from the first page to the descriptive imagery of Depression Era Appalachia. This was a very hard novel to put down. Patience is strong, yet vulnerable. She is brave, yet fearful of her past catching up with her. Her lack of prejudice and openness make her different from her neighbors in West Virginia. Many of them view her with mistrust, yet they need her in a community where the only doctor refuses to help black people or poor people.It wasn't just the midwife aspect that made this book appealing. The everyday life of two women- Patience and Bitsy (a young black woman)- making their way in rural Appalachia makes this book a page turner. There is so much more to this book than just the midwife aspect. The book deals with prejudice, spousal abuse, exploitation of Coal Miners, heartbreak, and redemption. I love Harman's simple writing style. I look forward to reading more of her work.This one is definitely a keeper.Read this book if....*you love novels set in Appalachia*you love southern fiction*you love novels about midwifery*you love novels set in the Depression Era*you love novels about race relations and racial issues in the early 20th century
  • (4/5)
    The Midwife of Hope River is an interesting tale of hard times, women’s roles, and midwifery in Appalachia. Patricia Harman peopled her work with well written characters, and her Appalachia has a strong sense of place.
  • (5/5)
    Patricia Harman’s writing is so vivid and authentic that I had to remind myself that the story was only fiction. The Midwife of Hope River is a compelling historical fiction novel that takes place in the 1930s, in the coal mining communities of Union County, West Virginia. Elizabeth Snyder, aka Patience Murphy, is a 36-year-old widowed showgirl; hiding from the law in the rural hills of West Virginia. Patience learns midwifery from Mrs. Kelly and Mrs. Potts, the only two midwives in the County. But when they both died, Patience found herself alone with only her apprentice, Bitsy, a young girl she took into her home and befriended, to assist her. The story pulls at the reader’s heartstrings as it follows these two women into poverty-stricken homes and into the homes of mothers in the midst of labor. The reader will also find their emotions skyrocketing and plummeting as they witness Patience and her assistant struggling to keep both mother and child alive during prolonged and complicated births. Patience Murphy would have loved to have had some assistance from Dr. Blum, the local physician. But Dr. Blum only treated families who had the means to pay for his services. And he refused to go into any of the homes that didn’t have running water and electricity; the very same homes that Patience and Bitsy often found themselves in. Payment was rare from these impoverished families. If they were paid, it was usually in the form of a meal, a chicken, or wood to heat their home. But most of the time it was just a hug and a thank you. Even though slavery no longer existed in West Virginia, prejudice, segregation, and racial hate crimes still did. Patience discovered this first hand when she found white supremacists setting fire to her fence and threatening to rape her along with her black apprentice, Bitsy. Neighbor, good friend and local veterinarian, Daniel Hester, saw the fire in Patience’s yard and gathered forces to combat it and the men dressed as the KKK. Patience held a warm and tender fondness for Daniel Hester, the man who always seemed to be there whenever she needed help. Patience, in turn, would assist him with his veterinarian calls. Although the two were not romantically in love, their bond of friendship was strong and ran deep within each other’s heart.Patience Murphy would eventually find that the care she so freely gave to others would come to her in the form of support and friendship. This friendship would be her saving grace when her troubled past came knocking at her door.I found The Midwife of Hope River to be riveting from the very first page. Patricia Harman draws from her vast experience as a midwife. She paints accurate and vivid pictures of what women experience during normal and complicated deliveries. I had to remind myself that The Midwife of Hope River was only fiction because it read like a true story, with realistic characters, dialogue, and situations. Although the book has a thread of grief and sadness running through it, readers will find themselves smiling at the many humorous situations Patience finds herself in. I would highly recommend reading The Midwife of Hope River. It’s a magnificently written, fascinating, and difficult to put down book. It’s a story that will stay with the reader long after they have finished the last page.~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover
  • (4/5)
    The Midwife of Hope River left me with mixed feelings. I was fascinated with the birthing stories, Patience’s life as a midwife during the Depression, the union theme, and the evolving interracial relationships. I didn’t care for the way Patience’s back story was told in bits and pieces. Still and all, I recommend this book.
  • (4/5)
    It's the early years of Great Depression in West Virginia – where the poorest of the poor struggle to survive. Midwife Patience Murphy has inherited the role of midwife among them. Poor as she is, Patience takes in Bitsy, a black woman who has just lost her job with one of the wealthier families in Hope River. The two of them soon are close as sisters and Bitsy becomes indispensable to Patience as an associate midwife. The Midwife of Hope River is the second novel I’ve read by Patricia Harman, both set in Hope River and featuring many of the same characters. They’re both gentle books about strong women and the men they love. Readers are allowed to glimpse into the lives of the women Patience and Bitsy help through childbirth. Nearly all the families are living in grinding poverty, but most of the mothers are surprisingly cheerful, joyous even. The Midwife of Hope River is an easy read, engaging and well-written, and with no pretensions. It was hard to put down and I breezed through it.
  • (4/5)
    Historic fiction is not generally my cup of tea but I really enjoyed this book. I have a few friends who are midwives and as I read this book I thought of them. The story focuses on Patience a midwife not necessarily by choice but possibly by opportunity. She seems to have fallen into this life of a midwife in W. VA but it is certainly her calling. The story let's you into the hard scrabble life of these people following the stock market crash and their struggle as well as the tensions of race in that time period. Definitely recommend this one, would make a great book club read!
  • (5/5)
    Patience Murphy is a midwife in West Virginia in the beginning of the Depression. Patience has many secrets and it is very hard for her to open up to people. During one year's time, she will undergo many changes and become a much bigger part of her community. The author took great care in developing her characters and sharing just enough of Patience's past to keep you wanting to read more. This was a very good first book. I look forward to more from this author.
  • (5/5)
    Reviewed by: AubreyBook provided by: PublisherReview originally posted at Romancing the BookI love this book so much. It’s honestly one of my new favorite books ever. I love how Harman writes. She is quite frank and to the point but with a lot of humor. The main character, Patience, is exceptionally well written. She is character full of depth and layers and unquestionably a character that is more than what she seems. She is a midwife, but you get glimpses of a life led before that was exciting. She holds many of the feminist ideals that I do.Her life as a midwife is not easy. She does not always get paid, but you get the feeling that Patience loves what she does. She faced many obstacles being a midwife in the mountains in one of the poorest areas of the country at the time and many men did not accept that she could do the job that a doctor could do. What is so fascinating about her attending all these births is that you get to see how all different families live and operate. You see the intersections of socioeconomic status and race and how the two intersect and how they also cause problems.As her first published novel, Harman wrote a story that is emotional and raw. It is one that I will recommend to many of my friends who are interested in birth and midwifery. This books is comparable to The Birth House by Ami McKay.
  • (4/5)
    Very well written book about a midwife named Patience in depression era West Virginia. I enjoy a novel where the author is well versed and accurate in the details of the book. Four stars.
  • (4/5)
    The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman takes us into the 1930s world of Patience Murphy, recently certified midwife, as she attends to a growing number of mothers around her West Virginia home. Patience's adventures as a country midwife give us a cross-section of the population: black, white, rich, poor, young, old, and even Amish. Seeing the many ways women cope with the impending birth is fascinating. Some scream and fight against it, others dance with their husbands, nearly carefree until the last moment. Patience assists with all kinds of births, hurrying off to places unknown at any hour of the day or night, often receiving nothing but gratitude in return for her services during the hard times of the Depression. Patience's frequent calls to attend at births keep up the pace of a book to brisk clip, but in between Harman is hard at work drawing out a complex character in Patience herself. Patience has a much richer history than at first meets the eye, and Harman slowly leads readers into the dark corners of the past that has had her on the run. Patience is no stranger to heartbreak or to tragedy, but her experience has opened her up to viewing all kinds of people as no different than her, which makes her stick out like a sore thumb among the racist whites of West Virginia who don't take kindly to her setting up house with a black girl, her new birthing assistant, Bitsy. As Patience faces threats and troubles from all sides, she finds herself an unexpected ally in Daniel Hester, the local veterinarian, who threatens to poke holes in the shield she has erected to fend off those who might be too curious about her mysterious past. Aside from some minor quibbles about the redundancy that occurs in the rhythm of the book (birth, memories, birth, more memories, birth...), I very much enjoyed The Midwife of Hope River. Patricia Harman has knit together a community of mostly lovable yet very different characters from the well-off wife of a local coal baron to the older, wiser midwife to the black community who takes Patience under her wing. At the center is Patience who is a strong and well-developed character in her own right but also a lens through which to view the times. Patience's life has brought her into the paths of lesbians, flappers, workers unionizing to struggle for their rights, coal miners trying to scrape out a meager living, coal barons losing everything to the market crash, and various and sundry "ordinary" people who dot the West Virginia countryside making a living however they can. Through Patience's lens, both the 1920s the Depression era are brought to life.Patience is a captivating character who I easily fell in love with. She is strong, capable, and stands up for her principles, doing what her heart tells her even when it's dangerous and possibly deadly. The Midwife of Hope River is a quick read and absorbing piece of historical fiction. Here's hoping that Patricia Harman has a few more historical midwives up her sleeve!
  • (5/5)
    During the Depression, Patience Murphy follows her mentor to the back hills of West Virginia to start a midwifery practice. The cases are varied and she is often not paid. Going along with Patience is her grief over the loss of her husband and her fear of the law. I enjoyed Patience's grit in attempting a difficult job, her friends, and the effects of the Depression on the people she encounters. While this is a work of fiction, the author, herself, has been both a lay midwife and a nurse-midwife for over thirty years.
  • (5/5)
    I'm so pleased to have received this book as an Early Reviewer. The historical-fiction aspect appealed to me quite a bit, with lots of detailed information about the Depression era in West Virginia, midwifery, and labor unions in mining towns (well incorporated into the story). The story kept me engaged, and there were many interesting characters. I loved the details about all the different births--you can tell a midwife wrote this book! A great read.
  • (5/5)
    I did not get this as an Early Reviewer book, but the description prompted me to buy it on my own. This novel tells the story of Patience, a midwife in West Virginia in 1930. It's more than about a woman delivering babies, however - I loved the main character and enjoyed reading about her life. Her assistance Bitsy was also an incredible character. The author used to be a midwife, and it shows in her descriptions. There is so much depth to this book - life and death, political struggles, racism, changing society, love, and redemption.
  • (5/5)
    Good read, very new material for me and although the ending left me a little dull I really did enjoy this book, would recommend it ot all my reading friends.
  • (5/5)
    Patience Murphy is honest from the get-go, saying "to be a midwife was never my goal." No stranger to loss (she was orphaned young, then widowed young, and lost a baby along with way), Patience suddenly finds herself a guardian of life when her friend and mentor dies and leaves her alone to deliver babies in rural West Virginia. Set in the depths of the Great Depression, this book describes with poignant realism the crippling poverty and despair governing the lives of Patience's patients; at the same time, with each baby she delivers, Patience sees renewed joy and hope for the women she meets. Harman's writing is vivid and her characters are warm and richly developed. Patience's story is woven throughout the novel, her secretive present interspersed with a very different and wilder past; along the way we meet the wildly different people who have influenced her. Nothing about this novel felt overdone - I thought Patience's emotions and experiences leapt off the page with their unapologetic reality, both good and bad. The scene was always alive but never over-imagined. Harman masterfully captured one woman's (and really, her entire community's) experience in a particular time and place - there were moments in the book that made me forget I was reading a work of fiction. I give this novel 5 stars, I highly recommend it!
  • (5/5)
    Set at the base of Hope Mountain on a farm during the onset of the Great Depression, Patricia Harman begins one of the most beautiful novels I have ever read. Harmam describes the landscape in such a way that you feel the seasons change. She draws you in so deep that you forget you are reading a work of fiction. "I've played too many roles in too short a time; had too many names, lived too many places." -Patience MurphyElizabeth Snyder Gordesky is on the run when her friend and midwife mentor, Ms. Kelly, brings her to West Virginia. Ms. Kelly dies of a broken heart and Elizabeth has a new role to play. Of all the roles Elizabeth has played being the midwife, Patience Murphy, is her most redemptive. Bringing new lives into the world slowly heals her heart of all the loss she has suffered in her past. "To be a midwife was never my goal." -Patience MurphyWith each baby that Patience brings into the world there is a unique experience and an equally unique family. Times are hard for everyone. Patience's expertise is needed regardless of color, class, or economic status and she gives herself relentlessly. When Patience acquired an apprentice, Bitsy, who was threatened with homelessness a beautiful friendship blossoms. Bitsy being a young black woman brought a new dynamic to Patience's life and work. No matter how the community embraced Patience, she did not feel comfortable revealing who she really was. The communities surrounding Hope River was clearly divided. Whites and Blacks. Patience being from Pittsburgh often crossed the lines. She was determined not to be boxed in. She faced racism head on. It must be said that Harman includes themes such as social justice, domestic violence, labor organizing, women's rights, and violent racism in a novel whose main theme is midwifery in an extraordinary way. Just when you thought the story could not melt your heart anymore Harman moves us by including two women with disabilities whose strength is astonding. There were so many small details of this book that really made me smile. I fell in love with Patience's love and affection for her animals. The dogs Emma and Sasha who were named for radical anarchists. The cow Moonlight with her calf Sunny. Patience nursed a lame horse, Star, back to health. She often delivered babies where her only payment was food or nothing at all. The different reactions to birth by each family will make you laugh and cry. I literally pondered over this review for days because I knew no matter what I wrote it would not express how much I enjoyed reading this book. Over the course of the novel, Patience reflects on her own past little by little. She heals gradually. Throughout Harman gives a balance of life and death. By the end a new life and a new love is blossoming and Patience's past is finally put to rest. The Midwife of Hope River is one of those books I will never forget.
  • (3/5)
    What is it about a midwife's story??? This was a very lovely book. I engaged with the characters, enjoyed the heroine's tales of hardship, kindness in difficult circumstances, perseverence and devotion to doing what was right.
  • (5/5)
    I really enjoyed this book! A lot of the reviews below make mention of an unbelievable plot, weak characters, and etc. Set in the 1930's midwife Patience Murphy has had a lot of things happen in her life, but those were hard times, so I found this believable, and maybe the author used these happenings simply to insert a lot of historical information into the novel? I found this made the story more interesting because it covered some things I was unaware of, like the depiction of life in the coal mining towns and the forming of unions. It also was a reminder of the continued subjugation of blacks during that period in the south. Like most other reviewers, I found the birthing stories fascinating. I plan to find the 2 books Ms. Harman has written about her own experience as a midwife and read those too. Great effort for a first time novelist. I would recommend to anyone interested in that period of history or in the history of midwifery.
  • (2/5)
    Patience Murphy is a midwife in 1930s Appalachia, hiding a so-called dark past. This story follows her in a year or so of her life, finding her way as the midwife to the poor, the wealthy, white, black or anybody who needs her. Harman tells Patience's story along with stories from many of the births that she attends. You can hear Harman's voice very clearly in the birth stories, as several of them reminded me of her earlier memoir, and were possibly the only real redeeming aspect of this novel. The main story is weak, as is the main character. There were no other characters to grasp on to and root for, the story was predictable and I think Harman should stick to telling her own story rather than making one up for someone else.Rating this two stars simply for the birth stories.