The Midwife’s Choice by Delia Parr takes a look back when midwifes were starting to fade to the background as doctors became more widely used by the common person. The book also focuses on the women of a time period when laws were more favorable to men.
Martha Cade is the midwife of the small town of Trinity, Pennsylvania, but she grudgingly shares medical duties with Dr. McMillan. Martha was once happily married with a son and daughter; but after her husband died, her son went to live with his grandparents, and her daughter, Victoria, ran away from home. Having lived in her family’s tavern after selling her home, Martha now finds herself homeless after the tavern burned down.
Taken in by the Lynn sisters over their confectionery, Martha longs to find a place to call home – especially when she finds out that Victoria is returning home. But when she reconnects with her daughter, Martha finds that their dreams may not be the same. Meanwhile, Martha’s old flame, Mayor Thomas Dillon, has told her he is leaving Trinity and wants her – as his wife – to go with him. But is she ready to leave her patients?
Meanwhile, one of Martha’s patients needs her help. After delivering Nancy Clifford’s still-born baby, Martha begins to suspect that all is not well in the Clifford household. But when Nancy shows up badly beaten on the steps of the confectionery, Martha, the Lynn sisters, Victoria, and their friend, June Morgan, set to work forming a bond of sisterhood around their new friend.
But what were the laws protecting bruised and battered women at the turn of the 20th century? This book shines the light on the struggles women faced as the properties of their husband and the women who forged a way for women to stand up for themselves.
In the end, Martha’s story brings to light the practices of midwifery and the changes that have happened in this country as we women stand together in the sisterhood.
I think this book is an excellent read and would recommend it to my fellow sisters.
*I was given this book by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.