If you read Patricia Harman’s The Midwife of Hope River, you will be thrilled to learn that the story continues with The Reluctant Midwife.
The Midwife of Hope River told the story of Patience Murphy, serving as a midwife in the strain of the Great Depression, in the backwoods rural town near a mining camp. The heroine had heartbreak, made friends, made a life for herself and found love.
The Reluctant Midwife is about her friend, nurse Becky Myers. Hard times have hit everyone, but Becky has found herself in a unique situation. The doctor she worked for had a complete mental breakdown and has been a shell of a man ever since. He can’t speak, can’t work, can barely feed himself. His own family refuses to take on his care and she was the only person who cared enough to make sure he got treatment. Now she has gone to Hope River to find a life for herself, but she finds that the Depression has had drastic effects on the people and economy of the place. There is little work and only a shack of a house to live in while she tries desperately to find work.
But better things may be on the horizon for Becky as she learns to trust others and accept help, and she learns the solidarity of a self-made family. Perhaps there is hope for Becky, for Dr. Blum, even for Patience Murphy and her family and the rest of the residents of Hope River.
Patricia Harman’s portrayal of the historical era is poignant and sharp, brutally honest but full of hope and spirit. If you enjoy historical fiction with a little more substance and heartache, The Reluctant Midwife is for you. If you haven’t read The Midwife of Hope River, I recommend that you purchase both novels at once.