• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (January 31, 2017)
From the USA Today bestselling author of the Hope River series comes a new contemporary midwife novel.
Say “goodbye” to your old life, and “hello” to the life you’ve been waiting for…
Midwife Clara Perry is accustomed to comforting her pregnant patients…calming fathers-to-be as they anxiously await the birth of their children…ensuring the babies she delivers come safely into the world.
But when Clara’s life takes a nosedive, she realizes she hasn’t been tending to her own needs and does something drastic: she runs away and starts over again in a place where no one knows her or the mess she’s left behind in West Virginia. Heading to Sea Gull Island—a tiny, remote Canadian island—Clara is ready for anything. Well, almost. She left her passport back home, and the only way she can enter Canada is by hitching a ride on a snowmobile and illegally crossing the border.
Deciding to reinvent herself, Clara takes a new identity—Sara Livingston, a writer seeking solitude. But there’s no avoiding the outside world. The residents are friendly, and draw “Sara” into their lives and confidences. She volunteers at the local medical clinic, using her midwifery skills, and forms a tentative relationship with a local police officer.
But what will happen if she lets down her guard and reveals the real reason why she left her old life? One lesson soon becomes clear: no matter how far you run, you can never really hide from your past.
I read Patricia's "The Reluctant Midwife" in 2015 and totally loved it.
I've always like books with midwifes, but I've found very few that are contemporary. I had some odd problems with the book, starting with the woman that died giving birth. Why did they send the body to Pittsburgh for autopsy? There are major cities in WV that have good hospitals that that made little sense to me, unless the Torrington, WV was on the pan handle closer to Steubenville, OH, but even that made little sense to me as both Morgantown, and Wheeling have large hospitals. (I live about 50 miles from both cities) I was also miffed that Torrington is a made up city too..as is Sea Gull island. Yeah I kept looking up these places.
But the book really drew me in. I wanted to learn how anyone could possibly start over off the grid. Would she get found out? What would happen if she did.
What I found out was this wasn't a book about Clara/Sara getting back her old life, but of one woman starting over completely. There's a lot of fear in Sara's life. I kept thinking that something was going to happen and she was going to be sent back to the U.S. I was actually very surprised at how the book ended.
Sara's new life was a quiet one. I loved how she found Tiger and how much a part of her life the tabby cat became. (I'm a sucker for animals in stories). She grows close to several residents, Molly and Nita. Nita's death is one of the most emotionally charged parts of the story.
The ending tied things up a little to quickly and easily for me, which is what kept this from being a stellar book.
Rating: 4 flowers
Patricia Harman, CNM, got her start as a lay midwife on rural communes and went on to become a nurse-midwife on the faculties of Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, and West Virginia University. She is the author of two acclaimed memoirs and the bestselling novel The Midwife of Hope River. She has three sons and lives near Morgantown, West Virginia.
Find out more about Patricia at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.