|Photo Credit/Source - Amazon|
I was recently given the opportunity to read "The Midwife's Tale" by Delia Parr and provide my honest opinion in exchange for an copy of the book.
The story begins with widow and midwife Martha Cade delivering a baby faraway from home. Upon her departure and excitement to join the rest of her family back in Trinity, she receives news from her brother about her daughter running away to join the circus (does anyone else think of Water for Elephants?). At the time period the book represents, there is quite a "strict" family structure and code in place for the community. Daughters should be home until they are ready to be married and usually follow the career path steps of their mothers. The news, undoubtedly, shakes Martha to the core. She not only has to deal with a daughter whose whereabouts are not known but with being ostracize by the community. To make matters worse, Martha depends on being a midwife to support herself. After, the old doctor from their community dies a new younger doctor comes and believes there is only room for one of them.
While, the book provide us insight into Martha's life as not only a mother, widower, a midwife, a community member but as a human who is simply trying to fit in and find a place for herself. The author does a good job creating believable but flawed characters. The book doesn't necessarily bills itself as a historical novel, but I wish it gave a bit more historic information on how lives of a midwife was like during that time period. The book does have little tidbits on how certain herbs cure ailments. The book was a bit a slow in the beginning but not painfully slow, although towards the end, there were so many twists and turns --- one should hold on! But, with that many twists and thrills at the end of the book, it made it feel rushed and that it should have been spread out more. Thankfully though, the book leaves no stone unturned and every question is answered. A gem to be read once and then passed to others.