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on 9 August 2015
This was written by a midwife in the USA. It is set in the south in the depression of the 20's . Patience Murphy had learnt on the job and has a black assistant called Betsy. Lots of tales of the struggles in human birthing and the poverty of this time. Alongside Patience and Betsy is the vet, Daniel Hester who often seeks the midwifes help as Patience also seeks his help. Patience is also shaped by her past, having lost her husband in tragic circumstances and then the death of her baby. Great tale!
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on 12 January 2014
I loved this book, but I am interested in the topics this story is about. I have had 3 pregnancies , one which was a home birth in 1966, which was lovely and relaxed. Just me ,the midwife and my Mum. Nothing much is said about pain relief, but my mum had 4 babies with no pain relief,so I expect the depictions in the book are correct.
The way people lived in this era outside the towns and cities is something we cannot envisaged now but they get through and have good levels of life and the comparisons with today are very stark. It is unimaginable that today's young people would be able to cope with life as it was then. A good, interesting and lovely story.
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on 29 May 2015
This almost reads like a journal, but, tucked between the birth stats comes a rich story of a runaway young woman who takes on the duties of a midwife.

There's another whole cast of characters who bring the story to life. Doctors; a vet; the church minister and his wife, to name a few of them.

If you enjoy a gentle read, you'll love this book.
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on 17 June 2013
I love all books of a midwifery nature, but the books I read are usually real-life accounts written by the midwife herself.

This book is in fact fictional, but it is so well written and true-to-life that it could easily be mistaken for an autobiography. The research that the author has done regarding the history at the time the story was set is amazing. I really felt I learnt something when reading this book, as well as being deeply moving and very much enjoying it.

Un-put-downable!
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on 5 June 2013
There were some great elements to this story - against a backdrop of the Great Depression, the growth of the trade union movement and the treatment of blacks in Virginia, Patience Hope acts as a reluctant midwife in her community. Lots of interesting avenues which could have been developed more deeply but instead the author focused on what she knows best namely the stories of the delivery of various babies which moved the book closer to chick lit when with a bit more development of some of the larger themes this book would have ticked all the boxes for me. Still good for the beach or a train journey...
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on 12 February 2018
A good read, and believable insights into a life we have no contact with
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on 15 June 2015
Really loved this book, it held my interest right up until the very end. I thought Patience Murphy/Lisbeth was such a fantastic, strong female character - flawed, of course, as everyone is, but also brave and kind and strong and good.

Would definitely recommend this heart-warming but tragic tale of life on the Hope River just after the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
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on 11 November 2014
This story grew on me and in the end I had to keep reading to know how it would end. It brings a relatively recent world alive - a world most of us have never experienced.
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on 9 June 2015
Loved it!! I usually read historical fiction so this was a refreshing change. Obviously written by a medical person but the human sentement and background characters brought it to life!
Genuinely moving and thought provoking, and a book I couldn't put down.
The author transports you into the era of the American Depression with ease.
I was sorry to finish this book and will definitely try another book by Patricia Harman.
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on 27 June 2015
It was an interesting insight into what life as a midwife in a previous age must have been like. You felt as if you really got to know the principal character.
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