Review: The Secrets of Midwives

Book Title: The Secrets of Midwives

Book Author: Sally Hepworth

Book Rating: ☆☆☆☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

Synopsis: “The Secrets of Midwives tells the story of three generations of women devoted to delivering new life into the world—and the secrets they keep that threaten to change their own lives forever. Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy—including the identity of the baby’s father— hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. For Floss, Neva’s grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva’s situation thrusts her back 60 years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s—a secret which, if revealed, will have life-changing consequences for them all. Will these women reveal their secrets and deal with the inevitable consequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?”

This is one of the books being published in 2015 that I was looking forward to the most, so I was thrilled to receive an advanced copy to review!  This quick read did not disappoint.  Neva is a third generation midwife, and though she has followed in the footsteps of her mother (Grace), their relationship is far from perfect. When Neva confesses to her mother and grandmother (Floss) that she is pregnant, and already 30 weeks along, her mother can’t seem to deal with the fact that Neva refuses to name the father.  As Neva begins drawing parallels between her own situation and Floss’s struggle with single motherhood decades before, Floss fears that her own tightly kept secret will be exposed.

The one major thing that I did not care for was that the story was told from the alternating perspectives of all three women.  Honestly, I could have done without the chapters from Grace’s perspective.  Her character wasn’t as likable as Neva or Floss, and her story wasn’t nearly as compelling.  I did, however, greatly enjoy the strength of each of the three women, and their complex relationships with each other.  I honestly didn’t know much about midwifery, and thought it was mostly an out-dated practice, but after reading this book I can completely understand the appeal and beauty of bringing your child into the world outside of a hospital.  Overall, this was a very well done debut by this author, and I have no doubt that it will appeal to those with an interest in women’s fiction.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads.

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