The Midwife's Tale (At Home in Trinity #1)
by Delia ParrMartha Cade comes from a long line of midwives who have served the families of Trinity, Pennsylvania, for generations. A widow with two grown children, she's hopeful that her daughter will follow in her footsteps. But when Victoria runs off, Martha's world is shattered.
Worse, a new doctor has arrived in town, threatening her job, and she can't remember a time when her faith was more tested. Still determined to do the work she knows God intended for her, Martha is unprepared for all that waits ahead. Whether it's trying to stop a town scandal, mending broken relationships, or feeling the first whispers of an unexpected romance, she faces every trial and every opportunity with hope and faith.
My Review: 10/10
This book was a breath of fresh air- everything I love in a christian/historical/romance novel. The religious themes weren't the usual- through Martha's choices and regrets, this book challenges the reader to question their prejudices, become self aware of some overbearing, controlling tendencies, and turn to God for comfort.The portrayal of characters and their flaws, motivations, and rationale was refreshingly honest. And the romance took a backseat. If it hadn't been in mentioned in the plot synopsis, I wouldn't have even been sure it would unfold. I saw this as a strength.
I loved the storyline, the way Martha is able to look back on her words and choices and see where she was wrong. I loved that she realized she erred in judgment- it really goes both ways, doesn't it- by overlooking common sense and things that didn't add up just because of someone's title.
I loved her growth and introspection. The things she struggled with were very relatable- her reputation, anger, temper, patience, integrity, all of it. I loved that sometimes there weren't easy or obvious answers and so she wrestled with some choices, ultimately having to leave them in God's hands.
Though many of the characters were relatable and loveable, and many of the relationships had lessons imbedded, my favorite was the relationship between Martha and Will (aka Boy). I especially loved that Will did have moments of vulnerability, but more often than not was rude, disrepectful and irrascible. It always provokes me when a child is depicted as a flawless angel. Children are wonderful, but have just as many "moments" when they're selfish, greedy, impatient, etc as adults. Martha's relationship with Will was a beautiful example of how to -choose- to view someone the way God sees them and how to practice love when it's not easy or natural.
This was a fairly peaceful, quiet read, though there were moments of suspense. I appreciated that it didn't end with a cliff hanger, yet my immediate thought was, "after all that, I have to know what happens next!" I hopped on Goodreads to see if this was one in a series and lo' and behold! This is actually an updated reprint of a book published over a decade ago... AND THERE IS A SEQUEL! YESSSSS. I've requested it from my library and I will be buying this version and the new version of the sequel because I love the updated covers. Bethany House always does an amazing job with beautiful book covers.