17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A beautiful and important book,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Midwife's Daughter (Paperback)
The Midwife's Daughter is a beautifully-written, engaging and moving story set during the early years of the twentieth century. Through its characters, mainly female, we see both the strength and the fragility of human life.
Violet, the midwife of the title, is one of those community midwives, in the old sense, the village woman who is sent for when your time comes. But times are changing, the old ways becoming obsolete...
The story widens to focus on Grace, Violet's adopted daughter. The adoption seems at first unlikely, but some deep recognition links the two together.
Through Grace's childhood we see the vitality of everyday life, security, affection, kindness, bravery, and charming domestic detail.Grace suffers from the prejudice she meets in her local rural community, and the questioning and self-doubt that results from it.
As Grace becomes a young woman she achieves self-acceptance, and is able to recognise and develop her own abilities. Then her exotic beauty causes unwanted attention, and a powerfully-written near-rape scene.
The characters in The Midwife's Daughter are written with great sensitivity and humanity and yes, you would read Patricia Ferguson for the beauty of her sentences.
This is a novel that reaches beyond the midwifery of the title. Its climax is a tragedy, shocking in its suddeness. And, in the final chapter, a telling parallel that leaves you thinking beyond the end of the book.