The Past and Present Colide in The Midwife

June 6, 2014 book review, children, family, fiction, giveaway, Giving birth 9

The Midwife


  • Written By:  Jolina Petersheim
  • Published By: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Length:  354 pages
  • Source: Publisher in consideration of an honest review

The story about a mother who risks everything to save a child not genetically hers . . .

The Past — Graduate student Beth Winslow was sure she was ready to navigate the challenges of becoming a surrogate. But when early tests indicate possible abnormalities with the baby, Beth is unprepared for the parents’ decision to end the pregnancy — and for the fierce love she feels for this unborn child. Desperate, she flees the city and seeks refuge at Hopen Haus, a home for unwed mothers deep in a Tennessee Mennonite community.

The Present — As head midwife of Hopen Haus, Rhoda Mummau delivers babies with a confident though stoic ease. Except in rare moments, not even those who work alongside her would guess that each newborn cry, each starry-eyed glance from mother to child, nearly renders a fault through Rhoda’s heart, reminding her of a past she has carefully concealed. Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives in the sweeping countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia’s due date draws near, Rhoda must face her regrets and those she left behind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free. (author’s website)

My Thoughts:   As I began reading The Midwife I was a little confused, it seems the reader is dumped right into Beth’s life.  She’s an assistant to a professor or similar at a college, she’s prepping his morning tea and just they meticulous way she is doing this I could feel that Beth had other feelings for Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick.  So the journey of learning about Beth begins.  I learned about her here and now, and slowly about where she was from, and why she had left.

Rhoda’s story is another path in this tale, one that helps the reader understand Beth’s past even more so, and how Rhoda became a midwife at Hopen Haus.  When a news story is shown of the state of things in their small community there is shock from Rhoda who does not want their Mennonite way of life changed.  She isn’t fond of the outside world creeping in, even if to help.  The publicity brings in some help in the form of money and offers of equipment  and a man from Rhoda’s past, his trade as a handyman leads the reader to wonder why a man would roam and life such a life.  There is much more to his story.

There is a gentle peace to reading this book, while not every challenge that both Beth and Rhoda is easy there seems to be an eventual resolution to their problems.  The lives of the women who work and come to Hopen Haus for help are often tragic.  Young women who are pregnant with no place to go, they find themselves in a simpler way of life.  There are all sorts of life lessons shared in this book.  There are stories of motherhood, forgiveness, lost love and more.  There is a story of redemption in this book, if nothing else the sense of all things leading to where they were meant to be.

While yes there is a Christian aspect to this book, it is not a book that attempts to preach or convert you, I always want to share this because I wouldn’t want this book to scare anyone away.  I highly recommend this book, and if you read I’m hoping you’ll share your thoughts with me.

Jolina Petersheim

This is the first book I’ve read by Jolina Petersheim, I do have her first book Outcast on my shelf, very much looking forward to it.  Please visit her website to learn more.

Due to an error in shipping, I received two copies of The Midwife.  Score one for you lucky readers, I’m giving the other one away!!  Please complete the form before Tuesday June 10, midnight and will help me choose a winner.  Open to US addresses only.  Comments are very welcome, but won’t enter you for the book.

This giveaway is closed. Stacie is the lucky winner, chosen by  Thanks so much!!

9 Responses to “The Past and Present Colide in The Midwife”

  1. Elizabeth

    Thanks for offering the extra copy in a giveaway! It sounds pretty good. I went with a midwife for my second child. It was a great experience. Much better than the doctor!

  2. Katie @ Doing Dewey

    This sounds like a very interesting story to me! I hate when books get preachy, but I’m definitely not opposed to a book just because it has some religion in it 🙂

  3. Michelle

    Thank you for the honest assessment of the Christian element. I have definitely been burned one too many times on that front and am completely gun-shy about any book with religious themes in it. You have definitely made me reconsider my decision to completely ignore this one. Great review!

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