The midwife’s tale

It could be that as I am getting older, I am getting more picky about books. So many times in the last year I’ve picked up a book from the library (my usual choice of book venue), brought it home, started it, gone through a couple of chapters and then thought, “Nah, I don’t think I need to finish this one.” It gets a little disheartening to tell the truth. Is it me that is getting impatient? Or is it that the books are not hitting the mark? It could be me just not picking out good books that are hitting the mark.

Not so this week!

I dropped into the library the other day on the due date of two of my other books, and thought I’d take a quick look around for something else for my nightstand. I ended up picking up The Midwife’s Tale by Gretchen Moran Laskas. I had never heard of this book, never heard of the author, but the inside cover did a nice job of capturing my attention. Within seconds of picking it off the shelf, the book was coming home with me for a visit. It was fabulous! I finished it last night and regretted that it was over. Elizabeth Whitely was born to a family where midwifery ran in their veins. The Tale is her coming-of-age story of growing up on a mountain in West Virginia, loving a man that could never love her back and raising his daughter that becomes her own, a girl who is special in many ways. She first accepts her calling as a midwife and then rebels against it for several reasons. Her relationship and love for her mother – of course, a midwifing woman herself – is strong and constant, a guiding force in her life.

The Midwife’s Tale is a simple title for a book that speaks of simple living in a back-country area where living off the land is normal and cars and telephones are unusual. However the story itself is complex and exciting and engaging and heart-wrenching. I shed a few tears during this one. I closed the book when I was done and continued to think about the characters and their lives, as if they were real.

No longer was it me ditching a book after a few chapters, looking for a book that hit the mark. This one captured my interest and held me to it for its entire length, and left me wanting more. I would highly recommend The Midwife’s Tale.

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