Publsihed by William Morrow ISBN 9780062467300
Trade paperback, $15.99, 416 pages
Sometimes a book just draws you into its universe so deeply, you feel like you are part of the story. I felt that way about Patricia Harman's The Runaway Midwife.
Midwife Clara Perry is dealing with her husband's recurring infidelity, her painful estrangement from her daughter, and the shocking suicide of her best friend when a tragic end to a childbirth she was attending occurs.
Fearing the consequences of that tragedy, Clara decides to runaway to a remote island town in Canada. She changes her name, rents a small house, and hopes to just hide out.
Soon Clara finds that cannot live totally off the grid. She meets her neighbor Molly, a mom who befriends Clara and offers her a ride to the closest grocery store. Pete is the local cop who takes it upon himself to check up on everyone in the area, making sure they are OK. Jed runs the local clinic and recruits Clara to help him out, which she agrees to do.
There is a group of people who live on a commune, and there is friction between the townies and them. Clara tries to keep a foot in both camps, as she likes Molly and Rainbow, who lives on the commune.
There is conflict between the people who want to see a casino built, because that means jobs and more tax money for schools and roads, and those (like the commune residents) who love the pristine nature of the beautiful land surrounding them and don't want to ruin that.
Harman does a wonderful job creating this small community. As a reader, I felt like I was right there, living among the community members instead of reading about it in a book. I grew up in a very cold, snowy region of the country, and related to the climate of this tiny island outpost off Lake Erie.
The Runaway Midwife harkened me back to my days reading Little House on the Prairie books, with the townspeople banding together to help one another. I loved the characters, they felt like real people you would meet, and Clara's evolving story kept me interested. There are secrets (will Clara's identity be discovered?), sex, true friendship and community, and although The Runaway Midwife isn't necessarily a book I would have thought I would like, I truly loved it and highly recommend it. Now I will look for Patricia Harman's first book, The Midwife of Hope River.
Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Patricia Harman's tour. The rest of her stops are here:
Tuesday, January 31st: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, February 1st: bookchickdi
Thursday, February 2nd: West Metro Mommy
Monday, February 6th: The Book Bag
Tuesday, February 7th: M. Denise Costello
Wednesday, February 8th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, February 9th: The Book Diva’s Reads
Friday, February 10th: StephTheBookworm
Tuesday, February 14th: Art Books Coffee
Wednesday, February 15th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Thursday, February 16th: Tina Says…