The Reluctant Midwife: A Hope River Novel (2000)
The Reluctant Midwife: A Hope River Novel (2000)
3.93 of 5 Votes: 1
0062358243 (ISBN13: 9780062358240)
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I didn't realize when I picked up this book that it was part of a series, but not to worry you didn't need to read The Midwife Of Hope River.This story takes place during the Great Depression in a small town in West Virginia. I've read a lot of books that take place during this time period, but West Virginia really was hit hard by the depression. As you see how hard the people worked and struggled to get by.It really is hard to imagine how they lived on so very little, and my heart ached for so many of them.Nurse Becky isn't quite the woman I expected her to be. She's a compassionate nurse, caring for her former boss because no one else will, including his family. She is a registered nurse, but she doesn't like delivering babies. That kind of struck me as odd, but it definitely allows her to fit the title of the book.I loved her relationship with Dr. Blum, which is really just odd, The story is told through snippets of patients or events, but not quite like a diary, except when Becky starts midwife duties, and then she sums up the deliveries. More important than those entries are the ones that Dr. Blum makes as he begins his recovery.These books have recommended to people that like the Call The Midwife series, and I definitely can say that is a good rec. It also lets you see how midwifes worked in the US.Most of all, this is a book that will really get your emotions in a twist. You will laugh and cry many times over while reading this book. This was a really well written novel that I read in one day. This was a great story that had a bit of a slow start, but really got going as characters and situations were introduced. Most of the characters were like neighbors you'd want in your own town, except for a few, and these few proved to have saving graces. The main character, Nurse Becky Myers, was truly a reluctant midwife and happened to return back to her Appalachian hometown, where it seemed half the women were pregnant or about to give birth. Well, it all makes for a good story. But further adventures and challenges were ahead for Becky, who also landed a job as a camp nurse at a Civilian Conservation Corps camp during the Great Depression years. The story, with many a plot twist, involved conflict, tragedy, joy, mystery, hope and fulfillment. And with all of that, there were influences of the historic times of the mid 1930's: CCC camps, economic depression,homeless families, Dust Bowl storms, the social reforms of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, early news stories about Hitler. All of these influences gave a dimension to the story, albeit there were a few instances where the facts seemed like 'data dumping.'As for the slow beginning, it was dire enough for Becky, as she returned to an impoverished town during the 1930's, bringing with her the man she formerly worked for-- a once-renowned surgeon, Isaac Blum, who had become a catatonic fixture after the tragic death of his wife. Blum's brother had disowned him, and there was no one to care for him, except Nurse Becky, herself homeless. Both had worked hard in their medical profession and had few friends. They soon found friends in their move back to Liberty, West Virginia, and complications aplenty. As the reader learns the back stories of Becky and Isaac, one can't help but hope that each will find happiness and a settled place in their lives, but as the story weaves, that ending is anything but certain.The edition of the novel I read is an Advance Reader's Edition, and I hope that a few typos and problems I noted, will be corrected in further editions. There was at least one swear word or slang word used in the story that was thirty years or so ahead of its time. There were typos-- one that was repeated "wuperintendent" for "superintendent." And I thought there were a few inconsistencies with fonts used for the separate journal writings of Becky and Isaac.As for Becky's journal writings, I didn't see much need for that, as the story was narrated in her close point of view. The only reason for her journal was so that Isaac could steal it and read Becky's thoughts, and thus start his own journal in response (he was unable to speak but could write fluently).
I really enjoyed this book and will look for the others by this author.
Not the greatest literary novel but a very nice feel good story.
Love the midwife stories. So informative and interesting.
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