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Publisher's Summary

The USA Today best-selling author of The Midwife of Hope River returns with a heartfelt sequel, a novel teeming with life and full of humor and warmth, one that celebrates the human spirit.

The Great Depression has hit West Virginia hard. Men are out of work; women struggle to feed hungry children. Luckily Nurse Becky Myers has returned to care for them. While she can handle most situations, Becky is still uneasy helping women deliver their babies. For these mothers-to-be, she relies on an experienced midwife, her dear friend, Patience Murphy.

Though she is happy to be back in Hope River, time and experience have tempered Becky's cheerfulness--as tragedy has destroyed the vibrant spirit of her former employer, Dr. Isaac Blum, who has accompanied her. Patience too has changed. Married and expecting a baby herself, she is relying on Becky to keep the mothers of Hope River safe.

But becoming a midwife and ushering precious new life into the world is not Becky's only challenge. Her skills and courage will be tested when a calamitous forest fire blazes through a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. And she must find a way to bring Isaac back to life and rediscover the hope they both need to go on.

Full of humor and compassion, The Reluctant Midwife is a moving tribute to the power of optimism and love to overcome the most trying circumstances and times and is sure to please fans of the poignant Call the Midwifeseries.

©2015 Patricia Harman (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Reluctant Midwife

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Not For Me

I don't know why I came back to listen to Patricia Harman's second book in this series. I was hoping maybe the leftist midwife in the first book of this series was a one off.
I'm fascinated by stories about midwives, so I thought I would try her second book in the series. She's a good writer, but she can't seem to write a novel without making it clear that she's a leftist and against capitalism. Her other books lean very left and the female protagonist is an anti-religious, radical leftist (according to her words in her books).

So, I was not completely surprised when I listened to the second book and found that it wasn't just one book, and a fluke. No... if you are a conservative, you won't feel comfortable listening/reading her books. I certainly didn't. The filthy language used by the women in a time when this country was supposed to be more innocent, shows that I was probably naive and thinking that 100 years ago, women watched their mouths and behaved more like ladies.

The narrator, Heather Henderson was good, and she's the reason I stayed with the book.

If Ms. Harmon weren't pushing an agenda, I'd probably read her other books. She's a good writer.


6 people found this helpful

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Slow Storytelling Underwhelms

I had high hopes for this tale set in hard hit depression-era rural West Virginia. I had read several reviews that favorably compared this book to the Call the Midwife series--I can't agree with that comparison. Instead, to me, the characters lacked charm, depth and the development necessary to make them really engaging. The story circled around and became so repetitive that I gave up due to boredom. What's more, I found the narration sing-song in style and perky even when it was inappropriate based on what was happening in the story line. Such potential wasted. I wish I had given this snoozer a pass. Recommended only if you like a simple, slow and low stress listen about hard times in America.

26 people found this helpful

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One of my favorite stories.

This is one of my all-time favorite series. While the first story features Patience Murphy, the midwife, this story features Nurse Becky Myers. If you've listened to the first story, you may remember her from her small role as the home health/public health nurse with the small office in town. The Reluctant Midwife tells Becky's story after she returns to West Virginia after a short time up north, after she left to go work in Dr. Blum's private practice office. She returns with Dr. Blum in tow, now his primary caretaker, after he has suffered a tragic event that has left him disabled. Becky will come to rely on friends and neighbors around her to get back on her feet after losing everything during her time up north.

I love this story because it has a great Depression-era West Virginia setting and the characters are all fantastic. I love the way the New Deal is highlighted through Becky's time working with the CCC. It shows how hard it was for folks to get back on their feet during the Depression and how a community worked best when it was able to lean on the people within it.

This audiobook was well worth the credit that I spent on it and I'll certainly listen to it again in the future. Heather Henderson did a nice job narrating and giving a voice to Nurse Becky Myers.

3 people found this helpful

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Wonderful!

Life took me to Alabama but I’ll Always be a WestVirginia girl! I absolutely Loved this book! It has been in my Audible library for years just sitting there ignored over and over until this week when I decided to give it a try. What a delightful surprise! Such a great read/listen.
My parents and family grew up in WV during the same time period as the story but this author brought to life to many similar stories I’ve heard over the years in my own family.
I don’t understand the negative reviews bc I was engaged in the story lines and characters the entire time. It did take a chapter or two (chapters are brief) to get into the story but the characters soon came alive. The story line of Dr. Blum and Becky was so truthful yet heartwarming for me since I was my mothers caregiver for over 10 yrs while she progressed into dementia. I could see this as a movie complete with period appropriate wardrobe, speech, setting, etc. I had my own movie going on in my head the entire book. Narrator did an excellent job. Highly recommend!!

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Great Book

This was the best book I have read in a long time. I plan on reading more.

1 person found this helpful

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The reluctant midwife is a riveting & compulsive read/listen!

I enjoyed this book because the author wrote in a way that grabbed my attention & I didn’t stop listening until finished...
I highly recommend, toe anyone who enjoys a book that keeps u totally immersed thru out! I plan to listen to another book by this author ASAP.. the narrator was also excellent!

1 person found this helpful

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The reluctant midwife

At first it was not very interesting but the more I listened the more I liked it it was a very good book ver

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This nurse loved this book!

I am dyslexic and can't analyse or review. I either like a book or not and this one I loved.

Thank you Patricia Harman and Heather Henderson.

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Rural life

The setting is between the Depression and WW2 in rural WVa. The characters jump off the pages and become real. You share their struggles, hunger and desperation, too. Lots of information about the CCC. Interesting period in our country's history.

4 people found this helpful

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Fine if you don't mind unnecessary profanity

I'd read the first book in this series years ago and was happy with it until the end. I couldn't remember why the end bothered me until I got into this one-the profanity. I am an adult and can handle appropriately placed choice words but this author seems to revel in crude language as much as a 13 year old boy trying cussing on for size. A great author can use a better vocabulary. Other than that, the story is engaging enough, though it did drag on a little midway through. Birth is portrayed accurately and I gained a better understanding of the time period in US history.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MissJones
  • 05-20-22

Extraordinary

Thank you for the art of your words, imagination, humanity and hope. Deeply touched by (and a little envious of) the era of slowness and refreshing newness in every day. In every struggle there is the spontaneous creativity that rises to share values that serve all humankind.