- Written By: Sally Hepworth
- Published By: St. Martin’s Press, February 10, 2015
- Length: 320 pages
- Source: Received a copy of this book from the publisher in consideration of an honest review.
Summary: THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES tells the story of three generations of women devoted to delivering new life into the world—and the secrets they keep that threaten to change their own lives forever. Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy—including the identity of the baby’s father— hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. For Floss, Neva’s grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva’s situation thrusts her back 60 years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s—a secret which, if revealed, will have life-changing consequences for them all. Will these women reveal their secrets and deal with the inevitable consequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?
My Thoughts: Maybe it’s stories about families or maybe it’s because it’s specifically the women but stories like this just grab me. When I received this book I knew it was something special, the publicist loved it and wanted to share, no pressure. Wrap a story of three generations of women around the topic of midwifery and it gets even better, well maybe have Sally Hepworth tell it and it just gets better!!
Neva, Grace and Floss are close, granddaughter, mother and grandmother. Neva is young and practices midwifery in a birthing center attached to a hospital. Grace focuses her practice on home births and has a booming business. Floss is now retired, and she began her work in the UK as a young woman. They each respect and love one another. Grace does worry about Neva and how often the doctors in the hospital may urge hospital births over the birthing center, but her daughter sees the benefit of both services and has been involved in many births that needed more medical attention.
Each women is unique and the author details their personalities and struggles. We are privy to their secrets, Floss’s from years ago, but one that she thinks of often. They each worry their secret will impact their family, their love and relationships. Hepworth has given each a private shame that they struggle to share and yet the more we know of each woman we want them to be free of the secret. Neva’s pregnancy is only part of her secret, but I do believe this event brought the three generations closer, while sparking their own thoughts. Neva’s friends and co-workers give her unlimited support which leads to more questions. This book is full of birth stories and friendships and bonding. The secrets all struggle to be freed and make it a page turner.
This book is set in Rhode Island, current day, interesting because the author lives in Australia. When I participated in a Facebook chat she said she always liked the area and RI included an island that is the perfect setting for this book. It all seemed to fit very well.
I highly recommend this book, it was a quick read, very entertaining. I look forward to more from Sally Hepworth, and you can learn more about her on her website.