Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Book Review: The Midwife's Tale by Delia Parr

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Title: The Midwife's Tale

Author: Delia Parr

Series: At Home in Trinity #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

**3.5 stars**

The Midwife’s Tale by Delia Parr is a story of the town Trinity’s midwife, Widow Cade, and her trials and adventures. She lives with her seventeen-year-old daughter at her brother and his wife’s tavern. She struggles to keep her esteemed position as the town’s baby deliverer with the arrival of a new-fangled, young doctor. She tries not the notice the handsome widower who once asked to court her years ago …

I think my favorite part of this novel, was the last three or four chapters. That being said, it still was a nice tale as a whole too. It just wasn’t exactly my type of book I suppose, but that ending was quite something, so I’ll give it 3.5 stars.

Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genres … but I guess I’ve just been liking fantasy better these days. Other reasons The Midwife’s Tale didn’t get the best of ratings: (1) It centers on the life of a middle-aged widow. I couldn’t really connect or relate with her very well. (2) I hate to say this one … but there was basically no romance. Okay, okay, that’s not really the whole point! *winkles nose* The point is that there was no other, like, prominent character it felt like. It was just Martha. I wanted more deep character interaction I guess. An old man named Samuel and little boy named Will has some bigger parts; but still, it felt that we didn’t even see them that much. I felt all the other secondary characters I hardly connected with at all. Hardly remember them. (3) Because of the title, I was expecting this more to be a tale about midwifery. It really wasn’t. Just don’t expect that, and then you won’t be disappointed when there’s only like three … or two … birth scenes. (4) I just … couldn’t get into it much.

On the brighter side, I did get into the story somewhat. I finished it in pretty good time, after all! *smiles* It was interesting, and I did want to see how Martha’s life went. As the tale progressed, I was intrigued by Will’s story as well, and wanted to see what would happen there. There was a little bit of suspense/mystery, which was a nice touch. Overall, it was pretty slow-paced, and it felt like there was no big plot stuff until the very end. But it made for a pleasant read in the end—and I don’t regret reading it.

My very favorite thing about this book, was Martha’s journey of faith. Which really was seen mostly as the end as well. But it was profound, beautiful, and striking home. It was real. Deep. The raw emotion and the struggling and the depth of the faith moments did not feel forced at all. They flowed wonderfully and went straight to touch my heart. Beautiful job with that, Delia Parr!

So. Not my favorite book; but I’m certain lots of others would enjoy it. Perhaps women at the same stage/place in life as Martha Cade. Or someone who enjoys historical fiction with just a dash of light suspense and mystery.

I received a copy of The Midwife’s Tale from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

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