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Extended Audio Sample The Midwife of Hope River: A Novel of an American Midwife, by Patricia Harman Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,430 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Patricia Harman Narrator: Anne Wittman Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Hope River Series Release Date:
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A remarkable new voice in American fiction creates an uplifting novel that celebrates the miracle of life.

Midwife Patience Murphy has a gift: a talent for escorting mothers through the challenges of bringing children into the world. Working in the hardscrabble conditions of Appalachia during the Depression, Patience takes the jobs that no one else wants, helping those most in need—and least likely to pay. She knows a successful midwifery practice must be built on a foundation of openness and trust—but the secrets Patience is keeping are far too intimate and fragile for her to ever let anyone in.

An honest, moving, and beautifully detailed piece of Americana, Patricia Harman’s The Midwife of Hope River rings with authenticity as Patience faces nearly insurmountable difficulties: disease, poverty, and prejudices threaten at every turn. From the dangerous mines of West Virginia to the terrifying attentions of the Ku Klux Klan, Patience must strive to bring new light and life into an otherwise cruel world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I learned, I laughed, I cried, but most of all I was deeply impressed by the artistry of the midwife and her central role in women’s lives prior to the advent of commercialized, institutionalized medicine. This novel will live in my heart for years to come.”

    Amy Hill Hearth, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A luminous novel of new beginnings, loss, love…and yes, hope! Patricia Harman’s all-too-human stories of birth mingle with the harsh realities of rural life in the 1930s…A thoroughly satisfying read by a talented storyteller.”

    Gay Courter, New York Times bestselling author of The Midwife

  • “Well-written and heartfelt.”

    Boston Globe

  • “[A] frank, absorbing memoir from a midwife at a tiny West Virginia health clinic.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Harman, a certified nurse-midwife who has practiced in many rural communities, clearly has a comprehensive understanding of midwifery…The stories of the births that Patience handles in this difficult era are fascinating.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Memoirist Harman, herself a certified nurse-midwife, takes readers back to hardscrabble times and adds plenty of medical drama and a dash of romance, to offer an uncommonly good piece of American historical fiction.”

    Library Journal

  • “Takes readers back to hardscrabble times and adds plenty of medical drama and a dash of romance.”

    Library Journal

  • “Harman, herself a midwife, transports the reader to another time and place in this quiet story of a white woman who fights to usher life into an impoverished, prejudiced world…The author’s love for the profession shines through in this testament to the power of women. A first novel well worth attention.”


  • “Midwives are warriors in this beautifully sweeping tale.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Will definitely renew your faith in love, loyalty, forgiveness, understanding, and just plain hope.”

    Fran Lewis, author of My Name Is Bertha

  • “As always when writing of birth, the bleakest of times can be transformed by the power and beauty of birth…The moments of joy between new parents and their baby, between the mothers and the midwife, and between the midwife and her young assistant, light up the pages. Amen baby!”

    Penny Armstrong, CNM, author of A Midwife’s Story

  • The Midwife of Hope River…is still on my mind days after finishing. From start to satisfying conclusion, it is a beautifully imagined novel, a marvel of a debut, rich with fully realized characters and events. This is one I’ll read again, more slowly next time.”

    Johanna Moran, author of The Wives of Henry Oades

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Melallie | 2/20/2014

    " Really enjoyed this. The birth stories were interesting but more then anything I enjoyed the history. The main character is a bit annoying and self obsessed and I would've liked some more in depth stories of the other characters. But all in all a great read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Paige Bennett | 2/19/2014

    " I was not sure of this book at first- seeing as how it was about depression era West Virginia- but once again I was surprised by a book. This book is wonderful- all about life, and hope and family. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Laura Jenkins | 2/18/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book; not too sappy, interesting scenarios...sorry to see it end! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Anja | 1/28/2014

    " Think my midwifery sisters would really enjoy this book. "

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