Friday, December 7, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: The Midwife of Hope River, by Patricia Harman

Unfortunately, I have to turn away most requests to review novels because I just don’t have the time to read all of them (as much as I would love to)! But when I received the query asking me to review The Midwife of Hope River, by Patricia Harman, it sounded so fascinating that I couldn’t resist. Fortunately, I was right: This book is wonderful!

This historical novel, written by a certified nurse midwife, follows the fictional life of Patience Murphy, a midwife in Appalachia during the Depression of the 1930s. When the story begins, she lives alone in a house she inherited from her late friend and mentor, the midwife who taught her how to deliver babies. This is a time of great strife when businesses are failing, unions are uprising, mines are caving in, blacks are persecuted, and nobody has the money to pay for Patience’s services. She is surviving mostly on the meager food and supplies donated by her customers. As Patience’s client list grows, she gets to know the stories of the people around her and gains a new roommate: a black woman who’s put out on the streets by her former employer because he can no longer afford her. Along the way, we also learn of Patience’s tragic past as an orphan, widow, wet nurse, and more. She also makes the acquaintance of the local vet, who will come to play a more prominent role in her life as time passes.

The Midwife of Hope River hauntingly captures the mood of the time, when fear, hunger and lack of hope dominate the landscape. But there’s also joy to be found in Patience’s growing relationships with those around her and, of course, in the innocent babies she brings into the world. Her past threatens to break her at times, but she rises stronger than ever when she realizes that loss is a part of life, and that everyone has their own burdens to bear. When they lean on each other, life is still sweet and filled with promise. The Midwife of Hope River is one of the most memorable books I’ve read this year.

Book Trailer:



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GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of The Midwife of Hope River, by Patricia Harman. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 11:59 PM EST on Thursday, December 20, 2012. Please enter through the easy Rafflecopter form below.



a Rafflecopter giveaway




Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review purposes, but all opinions are 100% my own. This post includes my Amazon affiliate link.

30 comments:

  1. Loved that she lived her stories and was a midwife! Would love to read this and the other story about her lifr as a midwife in communes in 60's and 70's!

    frogz60@hotmail.com

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  2. I learned that she lived in communes...how interesting!

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  3. she was a midwife in 60's and 70's

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  4. She lives and works near Morgantown, West Virginia, and has three sons.

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  5. This book is set in Appalachia during the Depression

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  6. Its very interesting to know about midwives then and midwives now.

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  7. A wonderful-sounding book on the hard life as a single,skilled woman in Appalachia in Depression days.

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  8. I learned "Patricia Harman, CNM, has published in The Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health."

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  9. She was a midwife in the Depression years. What a great sounding book.

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  10. The book is about a midife working in the hardscrabble conditions of Appalachia during the Depression, Patience Murphy's only solace is her gift

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  11. in 2003, the cost of liability insurance for Obstetrics sky-rocketed from $70,000 a year to $110,000, the Harman's decided to give up deliveries

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  12. She is a regular presenter at national midwifery conferences.

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  13. I learned she has spent over 30 years as a midwife

    caryn9802 at yahoo dot com

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  14. She became a nurse-midwife on the faculty of Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, and West Virginia University

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  15. learned she was a midwife in 1960-70's - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

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  16. I learned she has two other books.
    Arms Wide Open: A Midwife's Journey
    and
    The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir

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  17. Harman got her start as a lay-midwife on the rural communes where she lived in the '60s and '70s, going on to become a nurse-midwife on the faculty of Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, and West Virginia University. She lives and works near Morgantown, West Virginia, and has three sons.

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  18. I learned Patricia Harman is a midwife.

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  19. I would also like to read "The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir". It sounds very interesting about twins.

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  20. Patricia Harman, CNM, has published in The Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health and The Journal of Sigma Theta Tau for Nursing Scholarship as well as alternative publications.

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  21. I learned that she works as a midwife and writes about her experiences

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  22. During the Vietnam years, Patricia Harman and her husband, Tom Harman, traveled the country, often hitch-hiking, as they looked for a place to settle

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  23. Learned that she has written other books that are basically autobiographical.

    cgclynsg0 @ gmail dot com

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  24. i learned that She is a regular presenter at national midwifery conferences.

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  25. I learned you can buy her books on Amazon, which is where I buy most of my books :)

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  26. I learned that she was a true midwife and has three sons. Looks like a very good read!!!

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  27. The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman
    William Morrow Paperbacks, August 28, 2012

    As a midife working in the hardscrabble conditions of Appalachia during the Depression, Patience Murphy's only solace is her gift: the chance to escort mothers through the challenges of childbirth. Just beginning, she takes on the jobs no one else wants: those most in need--and least likely to pay. Patience is willing to do what it takes to fulfill her mentor's wishes, but starting a midwife practice means gaining trust, and Patience's secrets are too fragile to let anyone in.

    A stirring piece of Americana, The Midwife of Hope River beats with authenticity as Patience faces seemingly insurmountable conditions: disease, poverty, and prejudices threaten at every turn. From the dangerous mines of West Virginia to the terrifying attentions of the Ku Klux Klan, Patience must strive to bring new light, and life, into an otherwise cruel world.

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  28. I learned that her husband is Tom Harman.

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