Monday, February 9, 2015
The midwives who delivered my five babies captured my heart. Their kindness and wisdom blessed my life and the lives of my babies as the midwives shared the precious moments of birth with us. Well educated and in tune with a woman's body, one midwife I now consider a friend, also diagnosed my thyroid issue. I've written more about my experiences with childbirth, certified nurse midwives and hypnobirthing *here*.
So given my history, it was not a surprise that I really enjoyed The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth. Three women. Grandmother, mother and daughter have all become midwives. While their personal beliefs and philosophies about hospitals, doctors, birthing centers and home deliveries differ, they all share they goal of delivering healthy babies from healthy mothers.
Floss and Grace are surprised to discover that Neva is 30 weeks pregnant and that she has hidden this pregnancy from them for so long. Tuned in to the signs of pregnancy, they are shocked that they have completely missed the clues from their granddaughter and daughter. Not only has Neva kept the pregnancy from them, she is remaining mum about who the father is--insisting only that the baby has no father.
Grace is obsessed with finding out who the father of her grandchild is and Floss realizes that keeping her own secret may be hurting those she loves.
The Secrets of Midwives was a captivating read. I read the majority in one evening once I became intrigued by their characters' lives and experiences delivering babies. The women in the story are each different though they've chosen a common profession. They are at times unlikable and abrasive; occasionally soft and vulnerable. They do fall into their specific type-cast roles: the country midwife on her bicycle, the hippy midwife with her oils and massage and the certified nurse midwife delivering in hospitals near emergency medical care. Yet, each woman has an individual personality and becomes a well developed character as the plot moves forward.
There's hardly a time when a gathering of my friends doesn't end up in sharing of birth stories. These emotional moments shape us as women. They're part of our larger story. The delivery scenes in The Secrets of Midwives are dramatic, powerful and beautiful. The novel is heavy on birthing philosophy but ultimately the story wins out and the relationships between Floss, Grace and Neva become more important than the propaganda.
I thoroughly relished the novel. It's well written and perfectly plotted to be a quick, delightful read that pulled at my heartstrings.
The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth is published by St. Martin's Press on February 10, 2015.
I have an extra ARC copy of The Secrets of Midwives to give away to one lucky reader.
To enter leave a copy of this post. The contest will be open to entries until Friday, February 13th at 11:59pm MST. One winner will be chosen randomly from the comments and announced on Saturday, February 14th. Open to US only.
**I received a complimentary copy of The Secrets of Midwives. No additional compensation was received. All opinions are my own.**
Posted by Cindi at 5:30 AM