Customer Reviews for

The Midwife of Hope River: A Novel of an American Midwife

Average Rating 4
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(54)

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(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

Great read!

Coal mining West Virginia during the 1930's is the setting for Patricia Harman's engaging debut novel, THE MIDWIFE OF HOPE RIVER. Patience Murphy is making a new life caring for pregnant women in Appalachia as she reconciles her past with her new surroundings.

With ...
Coal mining West Virginia during the 1930's is the setting for Patricia Harman's engaging debut novel, THE MIDWIFE OF HOPE RIVER. Patience Murphy is making a new life caring for pregnant women in Appalachia as she reconciles her past with her new surroundings.

With the heart of Sandra Dallas, the intensity of Gay Courter and a nod to Barbara Wood the author integrates historical notes (the Great Depression, Appalachian coal mining, unions for miners and lack thereof, Emma Goldman the anarchist, Mother Jones, and even the Ku Klux Klan) into a seamless story about womanhood and the inherent risks of childbirth. She writes of a world where poverty, malnutrition and unequal access to quality healthcare can mean the difference between life and death. And while Patience's story is the story of her female clients and their children's births it is also her story.

Harman weaves Patience's personal tale with gentleness and sudden details that leave the reader wondering how the midwife can escape her own sadness to help her patients. Can the town vet be counted on as an ally for Patience? Can Patience reconcile her own past and move forward to be the midwife Hope River needs? Can she face the challenges for both the poorest and wealthiest of her clients? Can she train an apprentice? Will her past change her future?

An excellent book about the fragility of life, the miracle of birth, the community of neighbors, the Great Depression, love and healing and a woman's journey to find her place in the world. Beautifully written and a joy to read.

posted by Caseylondon on September 7, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

O

Between the plot spoilers and the children playing their little kittkat games its hard to get a true review here. Bn, please do something to the plot spoilers giving away the entire storyline, and the kids with the cat clan games. Isnt this a booj review site? When did ...
Between the plot spoilers and the children playing their little kittkat games its hard to get a true review here. Bn, please do something to the plot spoilers giving away the entire storyline, and the kids with the cat clan games. Isnt this a booj review site? When did it turn into a playground for children to play games?

posted by 8888649 on July 30, 2013

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  • Posted September 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read!

    Coal mining West Virginia during the 1930's is the setting for Patricia Harman's engaging debut novel, THE MIDWIFE OF HOPE RIVER. Patience Murphy is making a new life caring for pregnant women in Appalachia as she reconciles her past with her new surroundings.

    With the heart of Sandra Dallas, the intensity of Gay Courter and a nod to Barbara Wood the author integrates historical notes (the Great Depression, Appalachian coal mining, unions for miners and lack thereof, Emma Goldman the anarchist, Mother Jones, and even the Ku Klux Klan) into a seamless story about womanhood and the inherent risks of childbirth. She writes of a world where poverty, malnutrition and unequal access to quality healthcare can mean the difference between life and death. And while Patience's story is the story of her female clients and their children's births it is also her story.

    Harman weaves Patience's personal tale with gentleness and sudden details that leave the reader wondering how the midwife can escape her own sadness to help her patients. Can the town vet be counted on as an ally for Patience? Can Patience reconcile her own past and move forward to be the midwife Hope River needs? Can she face the challenges for both the poorest and wealthiest of her clients? Can she train an apprentice? Will her past change her future?

    An excellent book about the fragility of life, the miracle of birth, the community of neighbors, the Great Depression, love and healing and a woman's journey to find her place in the world. Beautifully written and a joy to read.

    17 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Great book about depression era

    My book club chose this book because of the depression era theme. It was a wonderful story about this period of American history. Everyone liked the book which does not always happen. We also had a great discussion about our own relatives during that time.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    A must read

    This was a wonderful story and just when I didn't know what to read. I heard from my sister what a good book this was so I got the Nook version and couldn't put it down. Great reading for women and anyone who appreciates the struggles some women have had in their lives. Heartwarming.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Very enjoyable

    Quite an interesting book. Well developed charachters, and easy to read. Will look forward to reading more by this author

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Patience Murphy lives an isolated but adrenaline-kicking lifesty

    Patience Murphy lives an isolated but adrenaline-kicking lifestyle. At any time of the day or night, a person might knock on her door or a car pull up into her yard, seeking her very new skills as a midwife to help deliver a baby. Sometimes everything goes oh so smoothly and yet there's always tension even until that last second when a baby emerges from his or her mother and is found to be healthy and whole when there is equal joy! But frequently, for various reasons, the baby has turned in utero and Patience has a huge challenge to deliver the baby, saving both the baby and its mother's life. Pay comes in very, very small bills but more likely in the form of food or wood for a fire.

    For the Depression is looming over the entire nation and even the mines in West Virginia have closed or are very close to closing. Patience has wound up in this little country town because she fears the cops are after her, a story that gradually emerges throughout the entire novel.

    A neighboring veterinarian is the first to help Patience albeit after quite a bit of gruffness. But he later turns out to be more than a rough character and becomes a caring friend. So what's the drama herein? Could it be the delivering of animal young 'uns as well as human babies? Could it be when a fierce ice storm glazes the area through which Patience must travel for another birth? Perhaps it's the husband who violently abuses his wife or anyone close enough to his rage?

    There are several stories within this obvious surface story. But the reader finds Patience to be an honest, straight-forward, caring woman who has picked the perfect profession for her and luckily for her patients. Unions and racism are volatile subjects to discuss or be a part of. Patience, however, is a rebel for the most sincere reasons one would be a viable rebel; she cares more for people, their families, their finances that help them survive, etc. more than greed for more material possessions and more than the hate that turns cowards (KKK) into would-be killers!

    The Midwife of Hope River is about second chances and rising above the smallness of those locked in "old time" ways and means! It's about sticking together and needing each other in a truly whole, community style. Nicely done, Ms. Harman!

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    Great read!

    A wonderful story of a midwife who carries her own secrets while trying to stay "invisble" to the outside world. A story of unlikley friendships with the backdrop of the depression, the struggle of the poorest of the poor, but the strength of the human spirit.

    Story moves along effortlessly. Enjoyable and easy to be part of the story!! Won't disappoint.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Takes place in the 1920"s, but timely.
    Good Book discussion.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    Good read

    Will keep your attention if you are just relaxing on the beach.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

    Enjoyed

    Good book

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  • Posted September 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Altho the ending of this book felt predictable to me, all that c

    Altho the ending of this book felt predictable to me, all that comes before feels true and engrosses ones heart so that I was happy the story ended in a 'happily ever' after fashion. Plus, I learned a whole lot about the birthing process that I never knew before even after having gone the process myself, three times, in my younger days.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    A MUST READ

    Loved every page and can't wait to read more of her books. As a retired nurse I feel she wrote a very true account of a midwife. Life was very hard for people and she was able to put that onto paper.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Good read

    I enjoyed reading about an era that I had heard about but never experienced. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about a different culture here in our own country.

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    Highly recommended and I have!

    As a R. N I found the book fascinating. Very enjoyable and hard to put down.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    very interesting thus far

    I am only halfway through this book but must say I am thoroughly enjoying it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2013

    Would love a sequel

    Great novel - highly recommend! Well developed characters & realistic situations. I was sad when I finished; I want to know what Patience's future holds.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2013

    Loved it!

    Enjoyed every minute if this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    Very good read

    I enjoyed this book. The characters were realistic and engaging. Other reviews mentioned that you only meet the characters peripherially, I agree to some extent. However, the more pressing overarching themes of the novel make up for the lack of in depth character development. I was engaged throughout the novel and left the story wanting more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    I ran across this book by accident, but so glad I did! Lovely st

    I ran across this book by accident, but so glad I did! Lovely story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    Very good

    Well written. Heartwarming.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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