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on 25 October 2017
Thus book had so much promise but simply failed to deliver. It gripped me and I found the subject matter interesting but there were too many long descriptive paragraphs that added nothing to the novel. The ending was extremely disappointing. Almost as though the author couldn’t think of a better one. I had hoped to discover a great new author for me to read. Sadly this was not the case.
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on 2 April 2017
This novel is wonderful. It is sensitive, tender and tragic. I was very moved by Ferguson's portrayal of her characters and their lives. I look forward to reading the sequel.
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on 4 December 2017
For the daighter as a stocking filler she love a good read
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on 7 December 2017
Really enjoyed this book,, I found it hard to put down once started. Live,, sadness and ugliness all in one.
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on 13 April 2014
I heard a couple of episodes when this was read on Radio 4.

The written version was inconsistent and flabby - in need of a good edit which it obviously got for the radio.
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on 11 August 2014
This is a wonderful story, very readable, good on the history. While enjoying the story itself, you pick up on how midwifery was practised and changing in the period (early 20th century) , on social attitudes towards women, and towards anyone who is different. Gracie (the midwife's daughter of the title) doesn't realise for a while that others viewed her as different along with the children who were physically disabled (a boy with a club foot), had learning difficulties, or were 'not like the rest' in any way - she was coloured - but hadn't seen herself as the same as this other group ... gradually, she does.

And then, after a bad fright that leads to tragedy, as she recovers, she deals with it ... but is her tragic end also a consequence of her difference, of her colour? That's not stated... it is implied ...

An affectionately told story, very real, pleasing, and not pushing a contrast between the 'ignorant' past and us who are more enlightened ... I shall be looking for more of Patricia Ferguson's novels.
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VINE VOICEon 21 January 2018
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this book purely as it’s not one of my favourite genres but I was pleasantly surprised, it was a slow starter but the reference to the time period and the views from back then had me gripped and I found really interesting, the story itself was a heartbreaker, the sister showed resilience and is so strong in her quest I admired her! Brilliant read and would definitely recommend!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 19 November 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Silkhampton in Cornwall, the Twentieth Century just begun. Gruff and Godfearing, Violet brought into the world many of the faces she encounters each day. Now she causes the tiny community to gape, taking under her wing the first coloured person it has seen....

For much of its way this is a novel full of heart - the locality evocatively depicted, the inhabitants vividly portrayed. Violet herself comes over strongly. (Be advised there no holding back with problems confronted, decisions to be made, whenever a baby is born.) Especially intriguing is her complicated relationship with identical twin Bea. Why is each so wary of the other, what deep secrets are never voiced? Little coloured Grace, who transforms their lives, is a delight. Each day she is conscious of that difference which makes so many uneasy, each evening she prays to wake up white.

For over two thirds of its length, the novel grips. Sadly impact diminishes as the years pass, especially with that lurch into a storyline which simply does not convince. For a while interest revives, but everything eventually flounders again - final chapters seemingly tagged on, emphasis no longer on those who had so prominently featured.

The novel's strength is its depiction of changing times. There is far more than the impact of a coloured new arrival and prejudices revealed. Violet's decades of skilled midwifery are now deemed old fashioned and dangerous - she, former stalwart, now sidelined. Increasingly to dominate is The Great War, taking its toll amongst rich and poor alike. Locals rapidly learn to adapt to the returning maimed - there no longer hostility or belittling of those who are different.

Yes, there is much to recommend, but Grace herself seems to have been let down by plot developments.

Five stars for much of the book, three stars for the its last third.
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VINE VOICEon 1 October 2012
This is an immersive and heart tugging tale which despite its title is as equally
involved with midwife Violet Dimond as with her adoptive child.

A middle aged widow Violet delivers babies as well as knitting and baking pies -
this Cornwall before World War I and not many can afford to pay for the doctor.
One day Violet is summoned by her twin sister Bea to the orphanage where the latter
works. Hovering on the edge of death is a baby which is almost identical in features
to Violet's own dead child - except for one crucial difference - this baby is 'negro'.

Overcoming her inital antipathy and braving censure and cold stares from her own
small community Violet embraces Grace as her own.

Growing up is for Grace a very painful process as she is very obviously different -
and Violet too is challenged in the process of raising Grace.

Patricia Ferguson - herself a former nurse handles her material for this novel with
remarkable sensitivity.

There is a flurry of developments in the latter part of the story and I found it
hard to put down. A sympathetic and psychologically acute novel - brilliant.
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on 9 February 2014
I saved this book to read and enjoy when I had time. I am disappointed. I find the authors style difficult and quite clumsy. I have also found many other people agreeing with this, on other review sites. It doesn't hold my attention. Very, very abrupt end to the book. This will be going straight to the charity shop.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

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