I found The Midwife to be first confusing, then disappointing. I don't enjoy books written in 1st person, and this one had more than one character portrayed in that style. Secondly, there are a lot of flashbacks, and that makes it confusing. Also, it isn't realistic of the Old Order Mennonite culture I'm acquainted with.
The Midwife is a truly amazing book written by a extremely talented author. After reading the first book by Jolina I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. I wasn't disappointed at all. I only have good things to say about this book. I don't think I could find anything negative to say about The Midwife even if I wanted to (which I don't!). If your looking for a great read then look no further!
This is the second book I read by Jolina Petersheim and I wasn't disappointed. The author didn't write a typical Amish romance book, she took a young lady in an unusual situation and wove her into an Amish world. Rhoda, the head midwife at Hopen Haus is forced to remember her past as Beth and the people she knew as one by one they make their way to Hopen Haus. She also has several pregnant young women that require her help that she is not able to devote all her time to dwelling on her past. Finally all the unanswered questions from the prologue are answered and the current problems are resolved allowing Hopen Haus to continue.
This book was rather unique. I'm not a big fan of Amish/Mennonite fiction because I think too often it doesn't depict the way things really are in this culture. To me, this was very true in this book. She calls the characters Old-Order Mennonites and yet, the fact that they don't have electricity, etc. seems way more Amish than Mennonite. The OOM I know all have electricity and telephones. Also, the fact that Rhoda/Beth was immersed does not go along with typical Amish culture. Most of them would not go against their standard ways of doing things because of the whim of one person. Things like that caused me to be a little turned off by the book. The story line was okay--rather unrealistic and while Rhoda was baptized in to the church, there didn't seem to be a heart transformation, which, unfortunately can be true of a lot of people, I suppose. Overall, it confirmed to me again that I will stay away from these kinds of books.
We are drawn into unique and interesting scenarios right away. The faith of the characters is stretched, and many surprises carry the story along, moving toward the emotional resolution. The characters are beautifully depicted, and the plot is intense. The point of view changes, so there are several people and two timelines to juggle. There is a lot of heart wrenching distress in this story, but the midwives, the babies, and the mother love are described so realistically that its worth it.