The Midwife

The MidwifeAuthor: Jolina Petersheim

Publisher: Tyndale

Release Date: June 2014

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

An emotional work that is sure to draw in parents and non-parents alike with an extraordinary story full of troubled characters.

Rhoda Mammau was accepted in the Mennonite community shortly after her arrival. After an unfortunate back incident for the head midwife, Rhoda is moved into the head midwife position at Hopen Haus in Tennessee..  She uses her seclusion to hide from past mistakes that she carries with her.

Beth Winslow has agreed to become a surrogate for a couple in exchange for tuition money for graduate school in Boston. However, after an amniocentesis detects potential abnormalities with the child, the biological parents decide it would be best to terminate the pregnancy.   Beth realizes that she has become attached to the unborn daughter and cannot bear harm to come to her, so she escapes to the safety of Hopen Haus.

One day, a new teenager named Amelia arrives at Hopen House, pregnant and trying to find herself. She sparks a series of events that bring the past to the present, forever changing Rhoda and her view of the creator’s love.

I had a difficult time reading this book. Not because of the story, structure, or flow as I read it in less than 24 hours, but due to the content.  This story made me really look at how difficult it would be to not only willingly give up my own child to someone that I didn’t know through adoptions, but also to unwillingly give up a child to a couple that I knew would not be able to provide love for the child as well as I could.  This story really took me on an emotional roller coaster with everything that happens.

The story is told by three different viewpoints, two of which are the same person at different times in her life. Several parts of the story were predictable, but the ending still had a well placed surprise.  Jolina Petersheim brought characters to life that drew upon her own emotional experiences, that I believe, made the characters that much more real.