The Midwife / by Jolina Petersheim. 10.26.2016

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. ISBN 9781414379357

Adult Rating: 5

In The Midwife, Beth Winslow agreed to be a surrogate when she was in college but fled town to hide at Hopen Haus, a home for unwed mothers, when the parents wanted her to terminate the pregnancy. She knew that the baby wasn’t biologically hers, but she couldn’t help the love she had for the baby. Rhoda Mummau, the current head midwife at Hopen Haus with a secret from her past, lives in fear that her secret will be found out. She lives with her own heartbreak, but has dedicated her life to helping these young, unwed mothers.

Rhoda feels that she doesn’t deserve happiness because of decisions she made when she was younger and acts as if she’s destined to be unhappy. She has accepted the Mennonite ways of living, but people from her past eventually find a way to become part of her life. Beth is constantly plagued by fears that someone will discover what she’s done and take the baby away from her. As both women are forced to reconcile the past with the present, heartbreak and healing follow.

Jolina Petersheim has woven a tale from the past and present lives of Beth and Rhoda. While plots that shift between the past and present can be difficult to follow, this story is so well-written that it flows easily until the women’s stories converge. These characters exhibit bold personalities as a result of Petersheim’s gift of storytelling. A twist and surprise are revealed when these two lives collide.

Recommended for public and school libraries.

Trina Chase, CLJ