Title: The Midwife’s Tale
Author: Delia Parr
Publishing House/Publication Date: Bethany House/2015
Genres: Christian Fiction; Historical Romance
Time Period: 1830 (early Victorian Era)
Number of Pages: 336
Series: Book #1 in the ‘At Home in Trinity’ series
You should read this book if… You enjoy laid-back stories that are compelling and heartwarming, while focusing on character development and growth. Equally enjoyable in this story are the many, obviously well researched facets from history, namely relating to the midwife profession of years past. Also, this novel features an older than average protagonist, perhaps increasing the appeal to a middle-age audience.
Tone and Mood: The writing style of this book brings history to life with vivid detail and a down-to-earth, realistic tone. Although not always filled with happiness, the mood remains uplifting as bits of joy and fun shine through often, revealing the heart of the story beneath trials and hardships.
Characters and Point of View: Martha Cade is a capable and dedicated midwife to Trinity, PA, whose story is revealed through third person limited point of view. As a widow with two grown children, Martha’s character is a refreshing change from the typical twenty-something aged heroine. Naturally, this aspect brings interesting perspectives and thoughts to light. In addition to a likeable protagonist, numerous secondary characters such as expectant mothers, townspeople, and neighbors come to life through the pages of the story, as well.
Storyline: As Martha’s name of the best midwife in the business grew over the years, so did the amount of time she consequently was forced to spend away from her home and children. On one particularly lengthy journey to a the rural residence of an expectant mother, Martha returns home only to find her seventeen-year-old daughter has run away with the theatre troupe, a new doctor has moved to town and threatens to put her out of business, strange thefts have been occurring in the area, and the sweetheart of her youth is in search of a wife! Of course, the solving of each dilemma or disaster makes up the often-surprising storyline of the book.
Themes and Morals: Several impactful take-away values can be found in this story of a midwife. Trusting God with the future – even when life-altering disasters and tragedies strike, forgiving people who have hurt us in the past, and looking at each occurrence in life as a gift provided by God for a purpose are the primary ideals that spoke to me. Throughout the novel, Martha’s faith in God plays an important role and is portrayed often and realistically.
Inappropriate Content: One of the very few aspects of this book that border on inappropriate are realistically to be expected in a book featuring a midwife… Several birthing scenes hold back no details in describing the process and necessary procedures. For some readers this may prove to be a case of ‘too much information’, especially those who are not mothers themselves!
Conclusion: Overall, The Midwife’s Tale is a heartwarming and down-to-earth tale that is certain to delight fans of historically detailed stories rich with vivid characters and a deftly woven plot. After stepping into the town of Trinity, and the life of one very special midwife, you may not be ready to say good-bye after reaching the end. Thankfully, Ms. Parr is already at work on two additional books in the series, the first to be released later this year!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.