The Midwife's Dilemma (At Home in Trinity #3)
by Delia ParrMidwife Martha Cade has decided. When he returns in February, she is going to marry Mayor Thomas Dillon. That is the only decision in life in which she feels confident these days. Everything else around her feels like it's changing too fast, from her daughter's obvious affection for the town's young doctor to Martha realizing she's ready to pass on her role as midwife to someone younger. Even her beloved town of Trinity is changing.
The 1830s Pennsylvania town, having mushroomed in size and population, is becoming an important agricultural and economic center for the region, and soon a canal will connect it even more to the outside world.
It is a season that will set the course for the rest of her life. Martha will need every ounce of confidence, courage, and faith she possesses to overcome the obstacles that will make her life far more challenging and difficult than she can dare to imagine.
My Review: 6/10
I struggled with this book. The first aspect was the rewrite- taking this story from two books and changing it into a trilogy. Not much changed in the beginning. However, one key storyline was completely reworked. Initially it was bittersweet. I spent much of this story wondering if it was still going to play out the way it originally did. It did not and keeping these couple of characters around seemed to serve almost no purpose, other than to maybe accentuate the feel of community and close knit family Martha had built. Maybe it wouldn't have bothered me if I didn't know what I was missing.
The story itself felt like one being strung along. The things I had loved about the first two books ( the spiritual journey) and Martha's character (her strength and shortcomings, her ability to be wrong and change ) fell short for me. Martha (and Thomas) seemed to be overcomplicating things. Why exactly did she NEED to have a midwife replace her? There was a doctor there now and her daughter was publishing their specialty knowledge. She was complaining that she didn't want to be a midwife anymore and that she was losing more and more work to the doctor... so her need for a replacement just didn't make any sense to me.
Additionally, while I agreed with Martha that Thomas was pressuring her too much and damaged trust by changing his mind, I thought she was wrong to continue delaying and hiding their relationship. She set a pretty bad example for her daughter there and probably added to Thomas' doubt and insecurities. And I understand that she didn't want to start their relationship off with such a challenge, but that's life. And that's marriage. You weather the storms together. You compromise. You sacrifice. Your spouse should be second only to God, not fall somewhere behind your career, your kids, and your family legacy. She wasn't willing to commit unless everything else fell perfectly into place and she got everything she wanted. That's not commitment.
Jane's story was not a surprise. And felt way too easy. And I had no idea why Martha never shared the information with Thomas.
I did like the way Martha and Jane prayed together and leaned on God. But that was the only spiritual aspect that really touched me. For the most part, this book was all too realistic; an accurate portrayal of how misguided we can be keeping ourselves bone weary with busyness, accomplishing little of actual value and often missing the blessings that God has given us: relationships.