Five reasons I'm giving Five Stars to:
The Midwife of Hope River
by Patricia Harman:
1. The time and place - the story unfolds in the
Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia during the great depression of the 1930s.
The fine details of the story bring to life the unique community that lives there
in poverty and isolation, but always with hope. And then there are the many
domestic details that I found particularly interesting.
2. The protagonist - Patience Murphy.
Patience has unique voice, unlike any I've ever heard.
She comes to the mountains to escape a complicated past.
Armed with a birth satchel and little confidence, she delivers babies
for blacks and whites who can no longer afford a doctor.
3. The message - The story carries a beautiful message of
love and hope, friendship and humanity, with a little humor thrown in.
We meet people who have so little to give yet are the most giving of all.
4. The author - This is Patricia Harman's debut novel.
Harman herself was a lay midwife in rural communities in the 60s
and there is an honesty in this book that must come from her experience.
5. Do you know that feeling you get when you finish a great book
and you are sad about saying goodbye to everyone?
Well, there is a sequel, The Reluctant Midwife, and it is every bit as good!
Featured: a cloth bag embellished with a heart applique.
Could be used for books. Or a sandwich.