Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Midwife's Tale

Martha is happy with her life and work - living with her brother's family and carrying on the family tradition of welcoming the babies of Trinity into the world.
As town midwife she leads a content life secure in her place and assured of her position in town. However, when her daughter runs away and a new doctor takes up practice while she's away, Martha finds her entire existence suddenly shaken as she tries to find her footing in a shifting world.

Midwifery and doula's are of particular interest to me (especially as we hit month 9 of this pregnancy) so this book by Delia Parr seemed like the perfect way to beat some pregnancy insomnia. 

Having grown up in a smaller community I appreciate Parr's ability to stay true to life in a small town. Trinity was a highly believable setting to the cast of characters introduced, to small town relationship quirks, the power of public sentiment, and the ability of the gossip mill to turn life upside down. Trinity's ebb and flow help set the pace for the story's plot and added depth for me personally.

With a town like Trinity it wasn't hard to appreciate the characters within that setting. I know I am biased but certain characters like Martha, the sisters at the confectionery, Thomas and Eleanor, and Samuel (and boy although for different reasons) felt more relatable  as I had met people in my own small town who were brought to mind as I read the characters. Honestly, I'm not sure if these personal connections allowed me to add depth where it may not have been explicitly written or if that depth was always there in the pages but either way, I know my own experiences added to my enjoyment of The Midwife's Tale.

With so much enjoyment of the pacing, setting, and characters, I thought we were in for a clear win on this book, however, I do wonder at the ending to a degree. In all fairness, The Midwife's Tale is clearly noted as book 1 in a new series (I actually got to start a series on book 1 for a change someone write this down!) so perhaps storylines, and I won't say which ones for spoilers sake, that felt rushed and incomplete may, in fact, be slotted in for a book 2 or book 3. A highly plausible scenario given the way the last few chapters were set up.
If the book and it's characters were truly left in the situations they are in, I think some readers would have a difficult time fully enjoying the potential this tale has to offer. I reserve the right for final judgement until book 2's eventual release.

In the meantime I give this book 4 out of 5 stars and my thanks for some pleasant pregnancy insomnia filled nights.


I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion, the views expressed here are my own.