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~FREE PDF ♛ The Midwife of Hope River ♠ A remarkable new voice in American fiction, creates an uplifting novel that celebrates the miracle of lifeA William Morrow Paperback OriginalA debut novel featuring Patience Murphy, an Appalachian midwife in the s struggling against disease, poverty, and prejudices and her own haunting past to bring new light, and life, into an otherwise cruel worldAs a midwife working in the hardscrabble conditions of Appalachia during the Depression, Patience Murphy s only solace is her gift the chance to escort mothers through the challenges of childbirth Just beginning, she takes on the jobs no one else wants those most in need and least likely to pay Patience is willing to do what it takes to fulfill her mentor s wishes, but starting a midwife practice means gaining trust, and Patience s secrets are too fragile to let anyone inA stirring piece of Americana, The Midwife of Hope River beats with authenticity as Patience faces seemingly insurmountable conditions disease, poverty, and prejudices threaten at every turn From the dangerous mines of West Virginia to the terrifying attentions of the Klu Klux Klan, Patience must strive to bring new light, and life, into an otherwise cruel world This novel is American fiction at it s best It consumed me with the first sentence and wouldn t let me go.In the Appalachian Mountains during the great depression Patience Murphy was a faithful midwife who was devoted to her patients She never turned any one down for lack of money She was frequently paid with a chicken, a quilt, or gratitude With secrets behind her she felt safe hiding out in Western Virginia Patience was passionate as a midwife while she struggled to survive in the poverty This novel is American fiction at it s best It consumed me with the first sentence and wouldn t let me go.In the Appalachian Mountains during the great depression Patience Murphy was a faithful midwife who was devoted to her patients She never turned any one down for lack of money She was frequently paid with a chicken, a quilt, or gratitude With secrets behind her she felt safe hiding out in Western Virginia Patience was passionate as a midwife while she struggled to survive in the poverty stricken area of Hope River, where work was scarce.The rich characters pulled me into into the stories of this difficult time I felt I was living in this book along with Patience struggling with her heroic devotion to the people of the mines Closing the book I took the memories of this difficult but hopeful and brave time with me This is the first in a 4 book series and I ve read them all Beautiful books This book tells the story of Patience, a depression era West Virginia midwife with a dark past Patience is self sufficient and isolated from her community, but as she reaches out to others through her practice, she is knit to her community through shared sorrow and joy This novel attempts to celebrate our shared humanity, through love, loss, and the intense act of giving birth to a child Unfortunately, this beautiful and uplifting theme fell flat for me because I was never emotionally engross This book tells the story of Patience, a depression era West Virginia midwife with a dark past Patience is self sufficient and isolated from her community, but as she reaches out to others through her practice, she is knit to her community through shared sorrow and joy This novel attempts to celebrate our shared humanity, through love, loss, and the intense act of giving birth to a child Unfortunately, this beautiful and uplifting theme fell flat for me because I was never emotionally engrossed in the book.Honestly, I never felt strongly connected to the main character Patience s sordid backstory involves her meeting an extraordinary amount of historical labor leaders It is completely over the top, and presented in such a matter of fact tone that it becomes absurd She also seems to have a complete factual knowledge of every single historical event, illness, and personage that she encounters This seems incongruous with the information she would have had access to at the time, and the way she constantly rattles off these facts to the reader feels like a Wikipedia article about the early 20th century labor movement The setting is interesting at times, but the book failed to impart to me a strong sense of time and place Patience thinks, speaks and acts exactly like a modern observer would, betraying no idiosyncrasies which would place her in 1930 She is essentially us, the readers, thrown into the depression and baffled by the injustice that we find there It made me feel detached from the world of the characters.The most genuine and engrossing parts of the book are the birth scenes, which paint a rich portrait of the joy and pain of creating new life It was these fascinating scenes, coupled with my keen interest in the history of childbirth, that held my interest in the book As a piece of historical fiction, I found it lacking, but I would recommend it for those who are very interested in midwifery, and looking for an uplifting read The birth stories are interesting and realistic as you would expect since the author is an experienced midwife However, those events are the only reason I finished this book The story was ruined for me because of the way the author has the main character, midwife Patience Murphy, spout off all of today s politically correct views on race relations, lesbianism, and women s rights, etc This not only takes away from the believability a woman in 1930 may have recognized and worked to overcome The birth stories are interesting and realistic as you would expect since the author is an experienced midwife However, those events are the only reason I finished this book The story was ruined for me because of the way the author has the main character, midwife Patience Murphy, spout off all of today s politically correct views on race relations, lesbianism, and women s rights, etc This not only takes away from the believability a woman in 1930 may have recognized and worked to overcome prejudices, but would not have been shocked by them it makes Patience self righteous and judgmental of the people in her community I am not a fan of the popular practice of inserting 21st century sensibilities into historical fiction I read this book in the wake of a book I really disliked, and therefore was inclined to give it a pass Upon a few days reflection, however, it really doesn t hold up all that well some spoilers below My main impetus for reading is discovering new characters It s what drives a book for me Lizbeth Patience is not a character with whom I could sympathize I do not believe that such a person could ever exist She was preposterous, truly a most interesting woman in the world She was in t I read this book in the wake of a book I really disliked, and therefore was inclined to give it a pass Upon a few days reflection, however, it really doesn t hold up all that well some spoilers below My main impetus for reading is discovering new characters It s what drives a book for me Lizbeth Patience is not a character with whom I could sympathize I do not believe that such a person could ever exist She was preposterous, truly a most interesting woman in the world She was in the circles of Mother Jones, but had to run to the isolation of Depression era West Virginia She was a flapper and a chorus girl and a wet nurse and the most successful midwife ever to wear the title She was such a selfish, narcissistic, unrealistically actualized person She was touted as such a powerful, strong woman, but never gave the credit to those responsible for her actual survival She owed her house to her old mentor She owed her very sustenance to Bitsy, who painfully served as a manifestation of how awesome Lizbeth was for being so incredibly tolerant until Bitsy dared to have a life outside of service She also ran in a panic in regard to pretty much every emergency to the veterinarian who was apparently not a friend The character upset me, in short, because she only cared about herself, and it s hard to say that about a midwife, whose job is clearly defined as caring for others Her meetings with mothers before birth time was left offstage Her attitude toward most every single birth was one of irritation, of being interrupted from her soulless reflection of how her life before being a midwife was so much richer, deeper, andimportant than her work in the present Even at times when there were clear legal troubles and civil unrest, she thought the police were after her, because of an anti unionist threat a decade old The character aside, the book was written in a simple style, but it was conservative and at times quite pedantic There was not a birth scene where there was any real tension Every birth the protagonist attended was a success, and not only that, but a quick success The dead babies She was called too late to make a difference The baby she thought was dead Nope, totally alive, and just a point to show that as long as she was around, babies would live It came across as cowardly to write the character with no tangible failures to overcome To be blunt, it came across as an advertisement Any conversation regarding birth or midwifery stepped out of the comfortable, easy prose to the stilted voice of a midwife instructor reading a script to an actor in a home birthing class Likewise, discussions of other historical events have an air of I was there to them, rather than some meaningful insertion into the context of the era It came across as name dropping and not really understanding the nuances of the time It was a quick and easy read, and should be accessible to most readers The main thrust of the novel from my perspective was at least achieved, in that a positive tale of a traditionally accepted lost art at least here in the US was portrayed in a friendly, open light One of the things I look for in a novel dynamic, believable characters was simply lacking, and, since there isn t a point of direct action where she isn t present, it lead to a frustrating albeit fast read If you are interested in midwifery, this certainly paints an idealized picture You will get some of the clinical detail, along with stressing some important points about new motherhood breastfeeding is strongly encouraged, for example , but you might be better served to actually talk to a midwife directly than allow you to be influenced by this unrealistic story ..The Midwife of Hope River is the introductory installment of the Hope River series written by Patricia Harman After reading the book description, I was really looking forward to this book, based on the foretelling of the creation of an uplifting novel that celebrates the miracle of life It includes a lot of history about that time frame, including but not limited to pieces of history during that era, The Depression, prejudice against blacks, prohibition, and suffering that occured due to r..The Midwife of Hope River is the introductory installment of the Hope River series written by Patricia Harman After reading the book description, I was really looking forward to this book, based on the foretelling of the creation of an uplifting novel that celebrates the miracle of life It includes a lot of history about that time frame, including but not limited to pieces of history during that era, The Depression, prejudice against blacks, prohibition, and suffering that occured due to really hard times.BOOK DESCRIPTION A remarkable new voice in American fiction creates an uplifting novel that celebrates the miracle of life.A William Morrow Paperback OriginalA debut novel featuring Patience Murphy, an Appalachian midwife in the 1930s struggling against disease, poverty, and prejudices and her own haunting past to bring new light, and life, into an otherwise cruel worldAs a midwife working in the hardscrabble conditions of Appalachia during the Depression, Patience Murphy s only solace is her gift the chance to escort mothers through the challenges of childbirth Just beginning, she takes on the jobs no one else wants those most in need and least likely to pay Patience is willing to do what it takes to fulfill her mentor s wishes, but starting a midwife practice means gaining trust, and Patience s secrets are too fragile to let anyone in.A stirring piece of Americana, The Midwife of Hope River beats with authenticity as Patience faces seemingly insurmountable conditions disease, poverty, and prejudices threaten at every turn From the dangerous mines of West Virginia to the terrifying attentions of the Klu Klux Klan, Patience must strive to bring new light, and life, into an otherwise cruel world MY THOUGHTSI didn t make it through 50% because I found the repetitiveness of the births, all the logging of information for each birth, and the reminiscing of the midwife s past quite monotonous I would have appreciatedjoy and celebratory reactions to the miracle of birth, healing, humor, and the actual uplifting of the spirit There were no remarkable experiences And I had difficulty relating So, although I found the topic interesting, I did not find the book, historical facts, and the characters as much so.I found myself in the minority in rating this book Some may find this a gratifying read I just didn t happen to be one of those I found it rather boring and tiresome So much so, that I clicked off the book before I came to the conclusion Since there is no definitive plotline, I doubt I would have discovered a satisfactory conclusion anyway The Midwife of Hope River Hope River 1 by Patricia Harman Goodreads Author Print Length 382 Page. Where I got the book ARC from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.An eventful life has brought Patience Murphy to a rural backwater in 1930s West Virginia where she works as a midwife, at first a fairly inexperienced unknown but gradually gaining the respect and friendship of the community With the Great Depression causing poverty all around her, she is increasingly called upon for difficult births because the families cannot afford a doctor or hospital, and her skills are put to the test Where I got the book ARC from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.An eventful life has brought Patience Murphy to a rural backwater in 1930s West Virginia where she works as a midwife, at first a fairly inexperienced unknown but gradually gaining the respect and friendship of the community With the Great Depression causing poverty all around her, she is increasingly called upon for difficult births because the families cannot afford a doctor or hospital, and her skills are put to the test She develops a relationship of mutual aid deepening into attraction with the local veterinarian, and finds a friend when she reluctantly takes in a young colored woman who proves to be an intelligent and resourceful partner.I was sucked into this story very quickly by the birth stories, which continued to be the main fascination for me I also enjoyed the depiction of life in the 1930s it came across as very well researched, and I liked the way Patience s past brought out some of the social upheavals of the early 20th century.At times I thought this novel had the potential to be as thought provoking as The Help, with its references to racial tensions and changing times, but in the end I felt that the author had shied away from fully exploring these themes Situations seemed to resolve themselves a little too patly, and I often felt that the writing could have lingered over some of the scenes or emotions that were sketched in with just a few lines It s rare that I find a novel to be too short especially at 380 pages but Harman writes very well and I could easily have seen this novel expanded.This feeling of not quite there extended to the characters I found it hard to see Bitsy and Hester the vet I would have liked to have known how the Patience Bitsy situation resolved itself in the end, and how things went on with Patience and Hester I would have liked to have known themdeeply, understoodabout their backgrounds I don t feel like there should be a sequel, though, and part of me likes the way threads were left for the reader s imagination, so I m struggling a bit with my reaction to this novel.My rating is around 4.5 stars, simply for the combination of good storytelling and excellent writing There were two kinds of story here the individual birth stories, where I think Harman excelled, and Patience s story arc which I found a little weaker Still, they added up to a page turner and I suspect this novel has the potential to gain widespread popularity I loved every page of this book I was drawn in from the first page to the descriptive imagery of Depression Era Appalachia This was a very hard novel to put down Patience is strong, yet vulnerable She is brave, yet fearful of her past catching up with her Her lack of prejudice and openness make her different from her neighbors in West Virginia Many of them view her with mistrust, yet they need her in a community where the only doctor refuses to help black people or poor people.It wasn t ju I loved every page of this book I was drawn in from the first page to the descriptive imagery of Depression Era Appalachia This was a very hard novel to put down Patience is strong, yet vulnerable She is brave, yet fearful of her past catching up with her Her lack of prejudice and openness make her different from her neighbors in West Virginia Many of them view her with mistrust, yet they need her in a community where the only doctor refuses to help black people or poor people.It wasn t just the midwife aspect that made this book appealing The everyday life of two women Patience and Bitsy a young black woman making their way in rural Appalachia makes this book a page turner There is so muchto this book than just the midwife aspect The book deals with prejudice, spousal abuse, exploitation of Coal Miners, heartbreak, and redemption I love Harman s simple writing style I look forward to readingof her work.This one is definitely a keeper.Read this book if you love novels set in Appalachia you love southern fiction you love novels about midwifery you love novels set in the Depression Era you love novels about race relations and racial issues in the early 20th century the perfect novel to read during Autumn and Winter, The Midwife of Hope River, celebrates life, friendship, love and community Get your hot cocoa, marshmallows and blanket together and prepare to sit for long periods of time as you enjoy this page turner that you ll dread finishing Imagine the time, an era of the Great Depression, where hope seemed lost with each passing season, each day feeling dark and troublesome on Hope River Hope River is on the Appalachia Mountain in Union County, We the perfect novel to read during Autumn and Winter, The Midwife of Hope River, celebrates life, friendship, love and community Get your hot cocoa, marshmallows and blanket together and prepare to sit for long periods of time as you enjoy this page turner that you ll dread finishing Imagine the time, an era of the Great Depression, where hope seemed lost with each passing season, each day feeling dark and troublesome on Hope River Hope River is on the Appalachia Mountain in Union County, West Virginia, where you will surprisingly find a lot of diversity miners, travelers seeking work, business owners, physicians, ministers and their families make up this community The time is filled with racism, discrimination, many laws that divide us A time where little work is offered, therefore many babies are conceived A time before ultrasounds and technology, where hospitals are able to turn you around if you aren t able to take care of the bill first and a time where doctors could turn you around because of the color of your skin is the setting for The Midwife of Hope River In this novel, you will see the beauty of life bringing a community of people together despite their differences and the chaos surrounding them.New to the community, certified midwife, Patience Murphy formally Elizabeth Snyder has traveled a journey filled with sadness, loss and trouble She now finds herself moving from the city to this rural area wanted by the law With guilt on her heart and mind, she gives endlessly to this community with no expectations of anything in return Patience does not turn away a birth even when she regrets it later She attends the births of the affluent, the poor, black, white, homeless, Amish, Christian, non believers Each birth is celebrated uniquely, yet beautifully In giving birth, many lessons on life are learned with each birth report she writes Occasionally reminiscing about the past she left behind, standing up for those things she s most passionate about life, social equality and her new friends With this new leaf on life, her new help and dear friend, Bitsy, a courageous black, intelligent woman with dreams of her own, they become a team in Hope River Patience brings to Bitsy a home and work that she learns naturally, while Bitsy brings to Patience, a sense of what she endures as a black woman, family, warmth and together they embrace a beautiful friendship learning from each other They both find healing in love, life and laughter in odd places With each birth, you will feel that you are right there in the room with every detail given This is no surprise since the author, Patricia Harman, served as a Midwife for several years passionately delivering life into this world, never losing a patient alongside her husband who s a gynecologist and retired obstetrician The author has been committed to service herself throughout her life as an activist and teacher She brings life to Patience Murphy and Bitsy for each reader to love and enjoy in this beautifully written fiction As it deals with Life, death and the beautiful mess in between, The Midwife of Hope River, will make you laugh as well as cry dream and think as this beautiful and powerful story unfolds The eye opening story it is, The Midwife of Hope River, inspires with amazing details from the past and a hope for the future as it brings into full circle, life, even in loss, while cherishing the greater good in all of humanity I wish I could give this book MORE than five stars It s gorgeous and heartbreaking The writing is beautiful Prickly Patience Murphy, who is bumbling along delivering babies in West Virginia, is drawn so perfectly she is both flawed and likable, admitting her insecurities but taking charge when she has to in spite of them The book has just the right combination of heart and drama Trigger alert there are so many touching scenes in this book both happy and sad that I don t think you can ge I wish I could give this book MORE than five stars It s gorgeous and heartbreaking The writing is beautiful Prickly Patience Murphy, who is bumbling along delivering babies in West Virginia, is drawn so perfectly she is both flawed and likable, admitting her insecurities but taking charge when she has to in spite of them The book has just the right combination of heart and drama Trigger alert there are so many touching scenes in this book both happy and sad that I don t think you can get through it without crying Looking forward now to reading Patricia Harman s two memoirs