Sunday 22 January 2023

Quick post on a snowy evening...

It finally looks like winter again after a snowy afternoon, but there’s not much accumulation, just a coating of the white fluffy stuff.

It’s late but I wanted to get this post done today, so it will be a short one - sorry.  I finished an early book by Sally Hepworth yesterday, The Secrets of Midwives, which was quite good, not as complex as her later books, but still an interesting (and easy) read.  This book focuses on three generations of midwives and is told in alternating chapters.  Twenty-nine-year-old Neva is a midwife at a birthing centre attached to a hospital, almost a hybrid-model of midwifery.  She is surrounded by doctors and nurses and has a respect for the healthcare system that her mother seems to lack.  What is revealed near the beginning of the book is that Neva herself is pregnant, despite being single and having no man in her life.  Her refusal to name the father infuriates her mother, Grace, who is a bit of a bulldozer in the personality department.  She could be described as hippy-dippy, but is one of the best midwives around.  Grace's mother, Floss, a woman in her eighties who raised Grace on her own after leaving England to come to the US alone when Grace was just a baby, is a bit of a mystery herself, and sees her own situation reflected in Neva’s refusal to reveal who the father is.  All three women face their share of distressing situations, as well as challenges in their love lives, and as we learn about each of these women’s pasts, presents and possible futures, we begin to piece together the complexities of secret pasts and what it really means to be family.  I enjoyed this book quite a lot, and as I mentioned, it was an easy read, not too complex or deep that I had to think too hard about it, but yet it dealt with serious themes with tenderness and compassion.  I would recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed other books by this author or who enjoys domestic fiction focusing on challenges faced by women, in this case women who also happen to be midwives (I learned more about the process of childbirth than I ever needed to know, that’s for sure!!).

That’s all for tonight.  Stay warm and keep reading!

Bye for now... Julie

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