A Decent Woman

A Decent Woman

by Eleanor Parker Sapia

Paperback(New Edition)

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Overview

Ponce, Puerto Rico, at the turn of the century: Ana Belén Opaku, an Afro-Cuban born into slavery, is a proud midwife with a tempestuous past. After testifying at an infanticide trial, Ana is forced to reveal a dark secret from her past, but continues to hide an even more sinister one. Pitted against the parish priest, Padre Vicénte, and young Doctór Héctor Rivera, Ana must battle to preserve her twenty-five year career as the only midwife in La Playa.

Serafina is a respectable young widow with two small children, who marries an older, wealthy merchant from a distinguished family. A crime against Serafina during her last pregnancy forever bonds her to Ana in an ill-conceived plan to avoid a scandal and preserve Serafina's honor.

Set against the combustive backdrop of a chauvinistic society, where women are treated as possessions, A Decent Woman is the provocative story of these two women as they battle for their dignity and for love against the pain of betrayal and social change.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620154007
Publisher: Libertary Co.
Publication date: 02/20/2015
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 270
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

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A Decent Woman 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
2865midwife More than 1 year ago
Eleanor P. Sapia’s historical fiction novel A Decent Woman takes place during the turn of the century in a village in Ponce, Puerto Rico. It is steeped in true friendship, love, colonial politics, African mysticism and island culture. In one night, I knocked out ten chapters before I forced myself to go to sleep. Eleanor won my attention. The characters and the friendships woven within them were captivating. Ana Belen the main character and a midwife in the story creates a life long friend with one of her clients, Sarafina. After an infanticide and thirty years serving women, Ana must become licensed in order to continue her work as a Midwife. There’s one problem, and that is Ana is illiterate. Sarafina offers to teach Ana to read and write so that she will be prepared to pass her exam. She has thirty days! Ana’s passions, joy and plight are shared by midwives everywhere and throughout herstory. Reading this book was inspiring. I’m sure readers will enjoy A Decent Woman as much as I did. Would love to see a movie made from this! Sarahn Henderson, Midwife and Childbirth Educator with Birth in the Tradition. Atlanta, GA.
ArleenWilliams More than 1 year ago
A Decent Woman takes the reader on an unforgettable journey of friendship between two strong women set against the backdrop of colonial Puerto Rico of the early 1900s. When former Cuban slave and midwife Ana Belen delivers Serafina Martinez's first child, an unbreakable bond is formed despite the hurricanes nature and politics throw in their paths. A striking first novel from Eleanor Parker Sapia.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Ana Belen Opaku is a midwife in turn of the 20th century Ponce, Puerto Rico (the author uses the old spelling of Porto Rico). She’s working without a midwife certificate which could make a great deal of trouble. She’s also illiterate which makes matters worse! But Ana is a truly remarkable, perceptive, sensitive, skilled and compassionate woman! She delivers children for Serafina and becomes a good friend over time. The beauty of this story lies in Ana’s description of her fears and strength during fierce storms and hurricanes; her following African Yoruba spiritual practices and Western religious rites, combined with her skilled application of medicinal plants to facilitate easy births and protect the newborn lives she cherishes. Folklore from Africa and Cuba make this a multi-layered tale that truly evokes understanding of Puerto Rico’s culture and society. One of Serafina’s children is born stillborn and because her last child died shortly after birth, she must defend herself against criminal charges. Ana provides the testimony Serafina needs to be judged innocent and that cements their close relationship forever. Ana now must deal with the opposition of a local parish priest, Padre Vicente, and a local physician, Dr. Hector Rivera. Their action pushes Ana to learn to read and obtain her certificate. Serafina’s husband dies and she later marries a rich man. Ana follows her and their friendship grows even more as Ana’s life dramatically changes. A Decent Woman... has no huge plot but instead gives the reader a gracefully evolving story of the struggle for women to survive independently in a male-dominated culture, the dignity of women who are treated as possessions meant to serve men, the need for women to share dangerous secrets which may bring trust or betrayal, and most of all the sharing of the beauty of the cycles of life and death. A remarkable account that is obviously well-researched, understood and conveyed with grace and passion! Highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A truly brilliant story of life in Puerto Rico in the late 1800's and early 1900's. It brought memories of the stories my father told us of life in Puerto Rico when he was a child.
Elainenow More than 1 year ago
Eleanor Parker Sapia's debut historical novel, A Decent Woman, is the well written and well researched story about the unlikely friendship between an Afro-Cuban midwife born into slavery and a young a socialite in colonial Puerto Rico. It is a story of love, tragedy, courage, and redemption in the middle of catching babies, hurricanes, and men who want to rule women in male-dominated Puerto Rico. You will not be able to put this book down, and you will remember Ana long after you finish it! I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction, Caribbean fiction, and women's history.
Christinka More than 1 year ago
captivating, the characters seemed alive throughout. very informative history of the plight of the early working woman in a man's world, I read this from chapter to chapter holding my breath and held it until the last sentence...hope to read more from this author soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago