Review: The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth

 

Title: The Secrets of Midwives

Author: Sally Hepworth

Published: Macmillan February 2015

Status: Read from February 05 to 06, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

A warm hearted story of family, motherhood and midwifery, The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth features three generations of women – Neva, Grace, and Floss.

“I suppose you could say I was born to be a midwife. Three generations of women in my family had devoted their lies to bringing babies into the world; the work was in my blood. But my path wasn’t so obvious as that. I wasn’t my mother—a basket-wearing hippie who rejoiced in the magic of new, precious life. I wasn’t my grandmother—wise, no nonsense, with a strong belief in the power of natural birth. I didn’t even particularly like babies. No, for me, the decision to become a midwife had nothing to do with babies. And everything to do with mothers.”

As the narrative unfolds from the alternating perspectives of each woman, it is revealed that they each hold a secret. Neva has successfully hidden her pregnancy for 30 weeks and now that she no longer can, refuses to divulge the identity of the father, her mother, Grace, is struggling both personally and professionally, and Floss, the family matriarch, is increasingly anxious about the repercussions for both her daughter and granddaughter, of a choice she made years before.

Though the plot is fairly predictable and lacks any real sense of depth, The Secrets of Midwives is an engaging read. The drama generated by the women’s secrets is fairly low key, there is never really any doubt that things will work out, and their issues are resolved quite neatly by the end of the book.
I’m a sucker for birth stories so I particularly enjoyed the midwifery angle. I was a little worried that Hepworth may have had a ‘natural birth’ agenda but she presents a fairly balanced view that favours choice for the mother.

The characters are easy to relate to and generally believable. I thought the dynamics between the three women were well drawn, particularly between Neva and Grace whose relationship is loving but complicated, simply because they are very different people. Grace is probably the most nuanced of the three characters, but it was Floss, and her story, that I found most interesting.

An easy and amiable novel, I found The Secrets of Midwives to be a pleasant and satisfying read.

Available to purchase from

PanMacmillan Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia  I Amazon AU  I via Booko

US Edition

 

 Amazon US I BookDepository

and all good bookstores.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Silver's Reviews
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 04:16:15

    I enjoyed it too. THANKS for sharing your thoughts.

    If any of your readers are in the USA, I know you aren’t, my review is up tomorrow for The Secrets of Midwives along with an audio giveaway. Pass along if you like.

    ENJOY your week.

    Elizabeth

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 03:15:34

    I have this in my TBR. I’m looking forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Trackback: Feature Guest Post: How Sally Hepworth came to write The Things We Keep | book'd out

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