The Reluctant Midwife is an engaging and utterly fascinating historical fiction novel that takes place in West Virginia, during the Great Depression.
Nurse Becky Myers had worked with Dr. Isaac Blum for seven years before she ended up becoming his caregiver. Instead of continuing with his life’s work, Dr. Blum withdrew into a catatonic state, when his wife suffered a tragic death. Becky’s anger and frustration with the catatonic doctor mushroomed after she ran out of money and became homeless. Thankfully an old friend, Patience Hester, the Midwife for Hope River and her husband Daniel, a Veterinarian, took Becky, and Isaac under their wing.
I first met Becky Myers and Dr. Isaac Blum in The Midwife of Hope River, Patricia Harman’s first book in this series. They were secondary characters in that book, and not very nice ones at that. Isaac Blum was an arrogant doctor and Becky was a prideful nurse. In this second book of the series, The Reluctant Midwife, Becky shows her courage by putting on a brave front and helping Patience with her Midwifery practice. She also begins to develop genuine empathy for women in labor. Both Dr. Blum and Becky are humbled, during this dark time in their life; and as a result, they develop a deep compassion for others. I didn’t think that the two would ever win me over, but they did.
I found The Reluctant Midwife to be a compelling and engaging read. The book is crafted, with so many vivid and authentic details, that I couldn’t help but feel part of the story.
I loved this book and highly recommend giving it a read.
~5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover