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Library JournalSet in pre-World War 1 West Virginia, this novel flows along like the tributaries that feed the book's Appalachian foothills, as narrator Elizabeth Whitely traces the arc of four generations of midwives in her family, she being the last of the line. Poverty, lack of clean water, unemployment, and an influenza epidemic, and severe weather also figure in the often melancholy tale. Laskas has injected many period details into her first book and alot of verve into her characters to make them come alive. Elizabeth doesn't leave much to the imagination as she details the sights, sounds, smells, and touch of delivering a baby. Growing out of a storytelling tradition, this is more than just a book about babies and midwives. It is also about complex relationships between mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, friends and lovers and all about the inheritance of and passing on of family traditions. Laskas deftly incorporates other threads into the book, including an examination of faith healing, gossip, and outsider status in a tight-knit community.
—Starred Review 3/15/30