Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway: The Secrets of Midwives

By Melissa Amster

I've decided several years ago that I'm finished having children. I have three and love them dearly, but that's all for me. Even so, reading The Secrets of Midwives, by Sally Hepworth, reminded me of the joy and beauty of giving birth and, for a few moments, made me want to have another go at the experience. (Then my daughter woke me up at two a.m. the other night and I reverted to my original decision.)


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? (Synopsis adapted from Goodreads.)

I absolutely loved this novel and it's already a contender for my 2015 favorites (not sure if I'll put it on my chick lit list or my general fiction list, but it will be there). I've been recommending it to everyone and that was even before I finished. Whenever I had to get back to real life, I missed the characters and yearned to know what was going to happen next. The dialogue was genuine and the descriptions made everything easy to visualize. Sally writes so beautifully and emotionally that you can see why I'd consider having more children while reading it. The only thing I would have done differently with it is write at least one character in third person. Having all of them in first person made things confusing. Even if Neva (name pronounced like "never") and Grace referred to their parents with different identifiers, I still had to go back to the beginning of the chapter to see who was speaking. This did not take away from my enjoyment of the story, however. This would make an excellent movie and I already have some casting ideas...

Grace: Ann Dowd
Neva: Deborah Ann Woll
Floss (2014): Piper Laurie
Floss (1954): Nathalia Ramos
Patrick: Henry Cavill or Chris Riggi (perhaps one could play Sean otherwise?)

I won this book from Reading with Robin. St. Martin's Press has a copy for a lucky US reader!

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.


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US only. Giveaway ends April 1st at midnight EST.

36 comments:

Janine said...

I can't think of a mother/daughter book off the top of my head.

Kelly M said...

Glitter and Glue

Bonnie Franks said...

I won this book from Reading with Robin also. It was difficult for me not to enter a contest of yours! I loved this book. I can see why, if you are of child-bearing age, it would make you want to have a baby. The characters are so real. I loved them all. Well, all the main ones. I kept trying to find that extra five minutes to read...

Caryn said...

I just finished What She Left Behind which wasn't so much about mothers and daughters, but that aspect played out in the book as an integral storyline. Great read!

Carol Fragale Brill said...

Loved, One True Thing

Kathy A. LaMaster said...

It's a father/mother book...I recently finished "Bettyville" and enjoyed it very much. Glitter and Glue is on my TBR list. :)

cpr040304 said...

I won an advanced reader's copy of this book and this is the only book that I've read that has anything to do with relationships between mother/daughter and grandmother/granddaughter. I miss the smell of my kids when they were newborn and snuggling behind their little ear, but I don't miss waking up every two hours for feedings. I have been blessed with 3 children and I am enjoying every milestone. Hope to win a copy for my sister :)

Sharon said...

This is a hard question...
I'm going to go with one of the last ones I read - Silent Sister

traveler said...

A mother/daughter novel which was memorable and unforgettable which I enjoyed greatly is The Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

I can't think of one. I hope that's still okay.

Holly said...

Two from two very favorite writers Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John and Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior.

holdenj said...

Well, it's not very serious, or even adult, but we were just talking at work about Freaky Friday the movie and the book!! There was an interesting relationship as they each saw things from the other view.

Anonymous said...

Anywhere But Here by Mona Simpson, which was also made into a movie starring Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman.

Suzy

huelsebusch@earthlink.net said...

Kristin Hannah's The Winter Garden

rhonda said...

Little women!

Elizabeth Parker said...

That's a tough question. I'll agree with the commenter who said Freaky Friday - fun movie, though I haven't read the book.

susieqlaw said...

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin

Cher B said...

Like other commenters, I found this a surprisingly difficult question to answer honestly! When I looked back through my favorite reads of the past several years, none of them featured a strong, central mother-daughter relationship, even though my mother is one of my favorite people in the world! I actually really enjoyed two books where the mother/daughter dynamic is really toxic: "Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn and "The Unspeakable: and other subjects of discussion" by Meghan Daum. Too funny (to me)! Looking farther back, probably the best book that illustrates the complicated, loving, sacrificing mother-daughter bond is "Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan. The book and the film never fail to move me.

This novel has been on my to-read list since I read your comments on Goodreads. Thanks for the chance to win!

jodi marinich said...

always loved terms of endearment

JJT said...

Gone with the Wind.

Carl Scott said...

The one that comes to mind first is also a movie I saw recently, August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. Thanks.

Michelle James said...

I don't know if it's my favorite, but I recently read and enjoyed THE SEEDS OF A DAISY by Alison Caiola.

Margie said...

I liked The Secret Life of Bees. It wasn't about an actual mother and daughter, but about a very meaningful relationship.

Terri. said...

That's a thinker...the only one I can think of is Anywhere But Here.

Melanie Backus said...

I am going to have to say Terms of Endearment.

bn100 said...

no fav; can't think of any

rubynreba said...

I know that I have read some but I can't remember the titles!

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

I have to go along with serveral others who mentioned Terms of Endearment. I loved that book/movie.

jpetroroy said...

The Joy Luck Club

Elizabeth said...

LOL on your decision to stop having babies.

I LOVED this book. Thanks for your wonderful review.

My book entries are below. Don't miss out on the giveaway - it ends tomorrow at midnight.

Another giveaway begins for Don’t Try To Find Me on April 2.

Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved April Edition. I am in the list as #6 and #7.

My book entries are below.

Elizabeth
Silver's Reviews

My Book Entry - The Giveaway Link

My Book Entry

Bridget O'Neill said...

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner!

rhonda j g said...

Little Women my favorite book!

Nova said...

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood was a fun read and a fun movie to watch!

Melissa said...

This is a hard one, but Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner popped into my head.

Ruth Lyons Mazur said...

The Beautiful Day by Elin Hildebrand - Lakeshore Chronicles by Susan Wigg - Cedar Cove Series by Debbie Macomber

Jess Bair said...

My favorite is Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner.