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Please don't promote book giveaways here. If you'd like to discuss book giveaways on Mumsnet,

Post a question to Patricia Harman, former midwife and author of The Midwife of Hope River.

(25 Posts)
Picturesinthefirelight Sat 16-Mar-13 18:00:39

I've finished it now and it did pick up towards the end. I became more involved in whether she was going to he caught.

On the whole though I agree with plastic. We didn't get to know the characters just dropped in on their situation in the Jennifer worth books you got the back stories and the characters became more real rather than just case notes.

ummlilia Sat 16-Mar-13 17:21:38

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this and by and large I did enjoy it, but I felt it suffered a little because it seemed to me to want to be both a history book and a novel, and it didn't quite meld the two things together . I read that the author has written some non-fiction books before but I believe it's her first fiction, and I think the editing let her down. My only knowledge of this time period and place is gleaned from watching 'The Waltons' as a child and I had those sort of images in my head..

PlasticLentilWeaver Fri 15-Mar-13 15:28:09

I received a copy and read it very quickly. I did enjoy it, but like Picturesinthefirelight, I found it very bleak, but maybe this was the intention. For me, there wasn't enough surrounding story about the characters involved in the births, just a turn up and deal with a grim situation and move on. They weren't followed up to get to know them. I was also confused by the role of Bitsy, who didn't seem to be either servant or friend, plus the 'KKK' section was rushed and felt bolted on to create an ending, when it could have been used much more strongly by bringing it further forward in the book.

I was also curious about how the author researched the veterinary sections, as they did not seem accurate. Even in the 21st century, horses with the severity of laminitis described very rarely recover any form of utility even after months of rehabilitation, let alone nearly 100 years ago, prior to the availability of anti-inflammatories and antimicrobials and having been made to walk however many miles to get to Patience's home. It just didn't seem realistic. Then, there was the use of the term Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, a term which was not coined until the 1950's annoyed me a little too. And, the description of a bitch being in labour, when they whelp.

All in all, I feel the author tried to cram too many things into the book, which resulted in a lack of depth, and that a strong editor could have made it a lot better. I wondered whether the book had been rushed out to piggyback on the current 'trend' for all things midwife-related?

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 07-Mar-13 23:35:41

I'm finding it hard going. Mil rescued it from the dog and asked to borrow it afterwards as she thought it looked good but its a bit too bleak. No light relief, no seeing the human side if characters and I can't seem to summon up much sympathy with the main character

Too detailed without bring descriptive and just not very inspiring so far. You haven't had chance to get to know the characters. And the get thing is looking a bit too obvious but it makes me think of a mills & boon (surly man taking care of little woman)

Mirage Tue 26-Feb-13 13:58:38

I have a question.I haven't finished the book yet [it is one of those books that I don't want to finish].I wondered if the text had been changed for the UK audience? I found words like 'coppers' and 'grub' which I've never come across in any other American novel before,and it struck me as unusual.

Mirage Tue 26-Feb-13 13:55:42

Thank you for my book,arrived on Friday and I'm halfway through it already.I'm really enjoying

pumpkinsweetie Sat 23-Feb-13 13:50:35

Thankyou for my booksmile

aprilbabe Fri 22-Feb-13 13:08:14

So has anyone received a copy yet?....I applied but have no idea if I've been sucessful....but I keep looking hopeful at the letterbox each morning grin

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 13-Feb-13 14:15:52

We've sent the fifty names over to Atlantic books today so the books should be with the fifty winners over the next week. Author Patricia Harman will be taking your questions over the next few weeks so do post her a question on this thread.

DuchessofMalfi Fri 08-Feb-13 13:35:24

I've applied too smile Sounds my kind of book.

Casserole Fri 08-Feb-13 08:39:58

I have applied smile

RhinotheHamster Thu 07-Feb-13 20:36:41

oh I see, you have to click on the link and fill in info. will do that now.

RhinotheHamster Thu 07-Feb-13 20:35:25

I Would like a copy please. smile

rocketleaf Thu 07-Feb-13 20:13:26

Please may I have a copy? Sounds really interesting!

CrackleMauve Thu 07-Feb-13 19:54:50

Books about midwives are my new favourite thing, adding myself to the list.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 07-Feb-13 18:30:14


--west vaginia??!!--

I'd like a cope please

blush We still have flashbacks to Naomi Wolf webchat here grin. Sorry about that - thankfully we have luxury of edit facility. Thanks for pointing out. Pleased so many are interested in the book anyway.

JethroTull Thu 07-Feb-13 18:02:03

I'd love a copy too please.

FinallyMrsFC Thu 07-Feb-13 17:48:21

Could I have a copy please? smile

BrownB Thu 07-Feb-13 17:05:15

I'd love a copy! I hear it's a really entertaining read.

BeaWheesht Thu 07-Feb-13 16:38:18

That's karma for taking the piss out of your typo MNHQ.

I would probably like a cope too - it sounds like something I could do with but a copy of the book would be great too - have applied grin

urbanturban Thu 07-Feb-13 16:36:07

Giggling at the 'West Vaginia' in the OP........but that's just cos I'm immature.........! grin

I'd love a copy btw.........sounds right up my (reading) street!

BeaWheesht Thu 07-Feb-13 16:35:57

west vaginia??!!

I'd like a cope please

SilverSky Thu 07-Feb-13 16:30:28

I'd love a copy!

SeeYouSoon Thu 07-Feb-13 16:12:18

Hello, can I have one please?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 07-Feb-13 13:08:03

We have 50 copies of Patricia Harman's debut novel, The Midwife of Hope River to giveaway this week.

The Midwife of Hope River tells the story of Patience Murphy, a midwife in West Virginia in the 1930s struggling against disease, poverty, prejudices - and her own haunting past - to bring new life into the world. Thoroughly researched it describes what life was like back then, from the cost of a bag of sugar to the Klu Klux Klan and mining strikes.

Patricia Harman draws on her own experiences of delivering babies in cabins and on communal farms in West Virginia, and later as a nurse-midwife in teaching hospitals and in a community hospital birthing center.

Apply before 10am on Tuesday 12 February and if you receive a copy, come and tell us what you think and post a question to author and midwife Patricia Harman.

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