HarperCollins Marketing Coordinator Sarah Woodruff on The Midwife of Hope River: A Novel of an American Midwife by Patricia Harman:
The Midwife of Hope River is a story of life amid the Great Depression and the fear of the unknown—a story about not taking anything for granted and a test of how much we can lose and still survive. From a woman who has experienced almost as many deaths as she has births, midwife Patience Murphy must maintain her own composure to help new mothers during a time when no one can afford to pay her and uncomplicated births are a rarity. Weaving seamlessly between past and present, we see a woman looking to live a relatively simple life, but her chosen career, her criminal past, and her devotion to her beliefs continue to interfere. Just when you begin to fall into the rhythm of her everyday life, Patience’s assistance in a collapsed mine or her slowly unfolding relationship with the veterinarian expose both the bravery and fragility of such a dynamic character. Poetic in parts and always surprising, the story in The Midwife of Hope River settles on unraveling Patience’s fascinating life—how she came to become a midwife in West Virginia interspersed with the rich history of the times—perfectly paced with events and reflection that fully allow you to see life through her eyes and want to stay there.