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The Runaway Midwife: A Novel

The Runaway Midwife: A Novel

4.7 3
by Patricia Harman

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From the USA Today bestselling author of the Hope River series comes a new contemporary midwife novel.

Say “goodbye” to your old life, and “hello” to the life you’ve been waiting for…

Midwife Clara Perry is accustomed to comforting her pregnant patients…calming fathers-to-be as they anxiously await


From the USA Today bestselling author of the Hope River series comes a new contemporary midwife novel.

Say “goodbye” to your old life, and “hello” to the life you’ve been waiting for…

Midwife Clara Perry is accustomed to comforting her pregnant patients…calming fathers-to-be as they anxiously await the birth of their children…ensuring the babies she delivers come safely into the world.

But when Clara’s life takes a nosedive, she realizes she hasn’t been tending to her own needs and does something drastic: she runs away and starts over again in a place where no one knows her or the mess she’s left behind in West Virginia. Heading to Sea Gull Island—a tiny, remote Canadian island—Clara is ready for anything. Well, almost. She left her passport back home, and the only way she can enter Canada is by hitching a ride on a snowmobile and illegally crossing the border.

Deciding to reinvent herself, Clara takes a new identity—Sara Livingston, a writer seeking solitude. But there’s no avoiding the outside world. The residents are friendly, and draw “Sara” into their lives and confidences. She volunteers at the local medical clinic, using her midwifery skills, and forms a tentative relationship with a local police officer.

But what will happen if she lets down her guard and reveals the real reason why she left her old life? One lesson soon becomes clear: no matter how far you run, you can never really hide from your past.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times bestselling author Mary McNear
“The Runaway Midwife takes us on a journey from loss, grief and guilt to one of love, forgiveness and redemption. Patricia Harman deftly tells the story of a midwife who discovers that she, too, can soar like the island’s wild swans.”
Roberta Rich
“In The Runaway Midwife, Patricia Harman, delivers a fast-paced, engrossing tale of a woman on the run from a bad marriage and an estranged daughter […] The characters are convincing, the plot tight and the conclusion convincing.”
“[Harman] draws on her experience as a midwife to add true-to-life detail to Clara’s adventure, grounding the high-stakes story. Full of hope and heart, this will appeal to anyone tempted by the thought of complete reinvention.”
RT Book Reviews
“[This] novel takes readers on a journey of transformation and self-discovery… the characters are dynamic, the central themes are relatable and the story will warm your heart and soul.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 2.50(h) x 1.20(d)

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Meet the Author

Patricia Harman, CNM, got her start as a lay midwife on rural communes and went on to become a nurse-midwife on the faculties of Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, and West Virginia University. She is the author of two acclaimed memoirs and three novels: the bestselling The Midwife of Hope River, The Reluctant Midwife and The Runaway Midwife. She has three sons and lives near Morgantown, West Virginia.

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The Runaway Midwife: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
CharlotteLynnsReviews 17 days ago
The Runaway Midwife is an interesting tale. A story of a wife and mother mourning the loss of a good friend runs away from her life. She not only runs but she leaves the country without a passport and becomes someone else. I cannot imagine living my life that way. She is scared of being found out at every turn she makes. She is afraid of making friends for fear that they will find out who she is. Clara is a sweet woman. Even on the hiding from the law she cannot hide her caring loving side. She helps out everyone who needs it, even some that do not. The people of Sea Gull Island cannot help but want to know more about her and she ends up making friends. As the story continues I was hoping that the truth would come out so she could stop living in fear and start living her life. I really liked Clara and could only hope that all would work out for the best. The story is interesting. I cannot imagine running away from the life I live and starting over in secret. There were some things that I questioned, like her husband and his reaction to all that was happening, but it did not stop me from enjoying the story. I was also surprised by the how accepting the people of Sea Gull Island were of a stranger living a very private life. I recommend picking up your own copy.
JannahLee 20 days ago
Book provided in return for an honest review. Like some of the other reviewers, I dove into this book thinking it would be about midwifery and births. In the literal sense, there wasn't so much, in the figurative sense - it was the whole book. While not so much about Clara/Sara's profession and passion it was about the birthing of relationships, sense of self, life purpose, hobbies and interests, understanding, forgiveness, love. Woven through-out the pages are sights, scents, sounds, tastes and sensations that made the island, people and experience come alive in my imagination. An added touch (and bonus for this nature lover) was a brief description of a bird mentioned in the chapter, from size and color to their call and nesting preference. The story hit on issues many women can relate to - wait, for that matter, men as well: dealing with infidelity; loss of friendships from death, emotions, and distance; aging; love; relating to others with different ways of looking at the world; living in a community; financial concerns; family and how that is defined; 'wrong' vs 'right'; loss of ability to continue with her passion for her work; and those are the ones that resonated with me - I encourage you to read it for yourself and see what strikes a cord with you.
bookchickdi 22 days ago
Sometimes a book just draws you into its universe so deeply, you feel like you are part of the story. I felt that way about Patricia Harman's The Runaway Midwife. Midwife Clara Perry is dealing with her husband's recurring infidelity, her painful estrangement from her daughter, and the shocking suicide of her best friend when a tragic end to a childbirth she was attending occurs. Fearing the consequences of that tragedy, Clara decides to runaway to a remote island town in Canada. She changes her name, rents a small house, and hopes to just hide out. Soon Clara finds that cannot live totally off the grid. She meets her neighbor Molly, a mom who befriends Clara and offers her a ride to the closest grocery store. Pete is the local cop who takes it upon himself to check up on everyone in the area, making sure they are OK. Jed runs the local clinic and recruits Clara to help him out, which she agrees to do. There is a group of people who live on a commune, and there is friction between the townies and them. Clara tries to keep a foot in both camps, as she likes Molly and Rainbow, who lives on the commune. There is conflict between the people who want to see a casino built, because that means jobs and more tax money for schools and roads, and those (like the commune residents) who love the pristine nature of the beautiful land surrounding them and don't want to ruin that. Harman does a wonderful job creating this small community. As a reader, I felt like I was right there, living among the community members instead of reading about it in a book. I grew up in a very cold, snowy region of the country, and related to the climate of this tiny island outpost off Lake Erie. The Runaway Midwife harkened me back to my days reading Little House on the Prairie books, with the townspeople banding together to help one another. I loved the characters, they felt like real people you would meet, and Clara's evolving story kept me interested. There are secrets (will Clara's identity be discovered?), sex, true friendship and community, and although The Runaway Midwife isn't necessarily a book I would have thought I would like, I truly loved it and highly recommend it. Now I will look for Patricia Harman's first book, The Midwife of Hope River.