Friday, January 8, 2016

Book Review: The Mountain Midwife by Laurie Alice Eakes

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Title: The Mountain Midwife

Author: Laurie Alice Eakes

Series: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary

Audience: New Adult/Adult

**4.5 stars**

I really, really enjoyed this book! ^_^ I should probably stop saying that I don't like contemporary fiction, because I keep finding gems in this genre! I've read some of Laurie Alice Eakes's historicals, and was expecting The Mountain Midwife to be one also. As it turns out, it's a sort of contemporary companion novel to one of her historical series about midwives. At first I was disappointed. But that soon changed!

The story centers on Ashley Tolliver, a midwife in the Appalachian mountains. Her family has lived there for nearly 200 years ... The women in her family, and their mothers before them, had been practicing midwifery just as long. Ashley wants to go to medical school, to be able to help more, to get more respect. But for the time being, the women in her small community need her. Especially the one who was kidnapped soon after giving birth in Ashley's care ...

This is not your average boring contemporary! *grins* Kidnappings. Mountain life. Handsome heroes searching out a birth mother. It was exciting, charming, sobering, and beautiful all at once. And besides that, I really enjoy reading about midwives. A baby's birth is miraculous. And midwifery intrigues me. I love watching Ashley, as a young woman, helping out other women as they enter into the exciting, but sometimes frightening, time of of bearing children. Some women, she's delivered all their babies. Some women, her mother or grandmother were the ones to "catch the baby". All in all, there's something personal and comforting about a community midwife.

And the mountain life is just quite interesting as a whole. They have this mountain accent. They've lived there all their lives. And their ancestors for almost 200 years! It's pretty crazy to think about. And just really neat. Imagine that kind of history! Very enchanting feel at times. Though there is the downside too. Instead of moonshine like the old days, illegal drugs are ruining the lives of many a person around Ashley's home. There are also the more poverty-stricken people, whose rather messy and "behind-times" lifestyle cause the general prejudices of the city folk against the mountain folk. There are some pregnant, single women who live in smoke-saturated areas and work far harder than they should at small diners with very little pay.
     And Ashley, with her loving heart and family ties, strives to help them all.

So yes, The Mountain Midwife kept my attention! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Also, the romance was very, very sweet! I quite enjoyed it, and how everything tied together and worked out. So cute. So gentle. Such endearing moments. Poignant moments. Ashley and her man are the sweetest couple; and I loved every bit of their journey! Eep! <3 I'm just so happy for dear Ashley! ^_^ (hehe) But truly. It was one of the loveliest contemporary romances I've read.

There was one case of adultery shown in this story ... and it was pretty gut-wrenching! :/ Really, really horrible situation. Infidelity is spoken of time and again, as a lot of Ashley's patients are single mothers. While Ashley doesn't agree with their lifestyles, she says her job is to take care of mothers and babies - not speak condemning words to the women who come to her for help. So yes, there's some more adult content and situations. But I thought it was all handled in a tasteful way. And Ashley's faith and morals come in too. There's two or three kisses and a sweet story of falling in love too. All sweet! ^_^ At this time, I can't remember how in depth the faith aspect of The Mountain Midwife was ... but I seem to recall some profound moments - some deep faith themes.

My final verdict ... it was great! So enjoyable! A contemporary tale set in the history-filled Appalachian mountains about one midwife's journey of discovery and love. Don't miss The Mountain Midwife!

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