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The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted April 14, 2009

    Awesome memoir!

    Just finished reading "Blue Cotton Gown" and could not put it down. I was sad when I was done, for I felt as though Patsy Harman became a good friend. A must read for memoir lovers. Patsy Harman writes with such honesty and clarity, it's so true-to-life that you feel as though you are right there with her, throughout all of her trials and everyday life. And oh, does she make you feel not so all alone, especially in the wee small hours of the morning when sleep can't be found. A true gem of a book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    Loved it

    I couldn't put this book down! At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book because I started to read another book about a midwife and it was really boring. The moment I started reading I was absorbed in it. I highly recommend people to read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2009

    Not another birth story book

    Patsy (Patricia) Harmond is a gifted storyteller. This gift is what makes The Blue Cotton Gown such a gem of a read. One can't help but be immediately pulled into the lives of her protagonist composites, as well as the details of her own life. Patsy weaves bits and pieces while building details of several significant women-patients so that the reader is waiting for the next visit to see what happens next. This is real life stuff where one wonders how is it that women put on a blue cotton gown and then begin to divulge details that are so personal that even their families often don't know about? I don't know if even Patsy is sure how this happens, but Patsy's gifted midwife-heart is able to weave meaning and connection of one's physical health to the context of each woman's life, including her own. And when she is unsure, she lets you in on it. This sense of honesty and truth helps the reader trust Patsy. <BR/><BR/>An expert midwife like Patsy has crafted her sphere of loving influence combined with many years of finely honed experience. This craft is developed by watching women labor and birth, and by staying connected to nature, which develops an incredible sense of intuition and deep respect for women and families. I call this talent "White Magic". Even though Patsy isn't catching babies anymore, she still uses her white magic to intuitively sense what is needed next for each situation. Midwifery is a spiritual art combined with the art of medicine. Patsy also eloquently lets the reader know that her craft is fret with uncertainty, stress, and worry, often from the realms beyond. These realms are difficult to articulate, and sometimes the reader is left wondering about what it all means and we are left to ponder on our own. We don't know why one young patient overdoses, or why another feels she is a man instead of a woman, or why another stays in an abusive relationship. Patsy leaves that up to the cosmos to figure out, and stays out of the way of playing God. <BR/><BR/>I don't know if I really would have understood how Patsy practiced if I read this book as a student or new midwife. But after 15 years of honing my midwife craft, I really do get it. And if you care about women, about good stories, about struggles to own a business, or about the spirit of midwives and what makes them special, then read this book. I gifted several copies to my friends and each of them have enjoyed it as much as me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2008

    I didn't want this book to end

    Whether you¿ve been in the care of a Midwife or not (I haven¿t), this is a book that just begs to be read. The rich stories of the women! First time author Patricia Harman weaves her own life¿s triumphs and struggles into this memoir in a special way that meshes with those of her patients. There are the young girls who find themselves pregnant, over-worked women with a whole lot of children and more on the way, affluent middle-aged moms worrying about their daughters and a woman who wants the author and her husband to help her become a man. It¿s also an unflinching insider¿s view of the struggles of doctors and their teams as they face rising insurance premiums and other very real issues that hamper those in the medical field who strive to do right by their patients.<BR/><BR/>At times I laughed out loud, at times I had tears in my eyes. This memoir kept me engaged. Oh to be a patient at that clinic, in the able care of Patsy and her husband, Dr. Tom. I didn¿t want the book to end, always the sign of a great read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Midwifery practice

    The stories of Patsy Harmon¿s Blue Cotton Gown are the stories of everyone who has ever closed the door of an exam room. Yet Harmon imbues the stories with a humor, pathos and insight that make this telling unique in the writings about women¿s health. We end up caring what happens to Nila, Kasmar and Aran as they come in and out of Patsy¿s exam room and our compassion is aroused by Patsy¿s compassion. <BR/><BR/>Yet Patsy has the ability to put a knife in your gut, to make you long for things you have experienced and things you have not. She takes you to her green fields and lets you play among the stars, but she is also merciless when looking at her own complex relationships and her practice challenges. The only thing missing in the drama of her day to day life in Appalachia is the revenue agent charging out from behind the hills to discover that she and her husband, who is also her practice partner, have an illegal still in their office.<BR/><BR/>Practice is not easy, relationships are not easy, being a driven and compassionate mother and woman are not easy, and Patsy makes that painfully clear. You come to cheer on her thoughts of running away from it all and returning to a simpler time. If anyone who practices modern day healthcare does not share this fantasy, then they are not present to the challenges of today¿s practice. Patsy, more than any other writer in this time, has the skill to take us into a world where tragedy, joy and tedium mix every time the exam door closes behind another woman.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    Jessicas bio

    Name: look up people
    Nicknames: jessi
    Age: 16
    Hair: brown
    Eyes: green
    Likes: singing and cute guys
    Dislikes: jerks and cheaters
    Relationship: single
    Crush:not saying
    Anything else u wanna know just ask

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2013

    Excellent

    Great nurturing woman & caregiver!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    Excellent

    As a nurse and mom I just want to give her a hug. Better yet I want to let her hug me. She will never know how many lives she has touched.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    Wonderful book

    This is another wonderful book by Harmon, another one I couldn't put down. She writes in a conversational style that makes you feel like you are living these experiences with her. As a physician I can say that the frustrations she describes, trying to take good care of people and maintain a practice in our challenging health care system, are spot-on accurate. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an enjoyable story, a bit of education, or some inspiration.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2012

    Touching, informative, fast paced

    I loved every page.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2009

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    Posted July 28, 2010

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    Posted February 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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