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The Midwife Paperback – May 16, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (May 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414379358
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414379357
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The work of a master storyteller." ~The Christian Manifesto


"Jolina's lyrical storytelling absolutely sings--but it's her quick-paced plot, complex characters, and insights into the Plain world that made it impossible for me to put The Midwife down." ~Leslie Gould, bestselling author of The Amish Midwife


"Jolina weaves a brilliant story that lets us absorb the years and grow with her characters. By the time they're ready to consider the risk of holding out and the cost of letting go, so are we." ~Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, Belle of All Things Southern and author of Heart Wide Open


"Masterfully told, The Midwife is a riveting story with enough twists and turns in the plot to surprise any reader -- all while exploring the real ethical, moral, and emotional issues surrounding surrogacy." ~Saloma Miller Furlong, author of Why I Left the Amish and Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman's Ties to Two Worlds


"The Midwife is a stunning narrative that explores maternal attachment in all its forms." ~Kellie Coates Gilbert, author of A Woman of Fortune and Mother of Pearl


"A story of hope and restoration, The Midwife is a tale to be savored." ~Carla Stewart, award-winning author of Chasing Lilacs and The Hatmaker's Heart


"In The Midwife, Jolina Petersheim's thoughtful storytelling illustrates how God's love can woo us from pain and hiding and into the abundant life He has created." ~Denise Hildreth Jones, bestselling author of Secrets Over Sweet Tea


"Englisch and Mennonite worlds collide in this poetically written story, layered with intrigue, mystery, and redemption. Readers are sure to find the gift of hope in the pages of The Midwife." ~Elizabeth Byler Younts, author Amish Historical of Promise to Return














About the Author

Jolina Petersheim is the bestselling author of The Midwife and The Outcast, which Library Journal called "outstanding . . . fresh and inspirational" in a starred review and named one of the best books of 2013. She holds degrees in English and communication arts from the University of the Cumberlands, and her writing has been featured in venues as varied as radio programs, nonfiction books, and numerous online and print publications. Her blog is syndicated with The Tennessean's "On Nashville" blog roll, and she also blogs weekly with nine other bestselling authors at Southern Belle View. Jolina and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but now live in the mountains of Tennessee with their young daughter. Follow Jolina and her blog at jolinapetersheim.com.

Customer Reviews

I don't want to give anymore away but I will say this is a very powerful book.
mjkt
You will find yourself falling in love with these characters, as well as having your hope restored and and your faith encouraged.
Sarah Burton
A deeply moving story, it was well written as the story transitioned between characters and time frames.
Savurbks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DianFlow on June 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Masterful storyteller, Jolina Petersheim, has penned a riveting, emotive tale that vacillates between three women from different walks of life, but all having two things in common --- deep buried secrets and a desperate need for love.

Beth Winslow, a graduate student agrees to become a surrogate for her professor and his wife. Upon realizing that the child she is carrying may be abnormal and the parents want her to abort it, Beth flees the city and seeks refuge at Hopen Haus, a Mennonite home for unwed mothers. Rhoda, the head midwife at Hopen Haus gives everything to the girls who are incumbent upon her care...except her heart. Past hurts and secrets cause her to carefully guard her broken heart at all costs, especially when Looper, a lost love comes unexpectedly to her aid at Hopen Haus. When a young woman named Amelia arrives bearing secrets of her own, will Rhoda finally come to terms with her past and find healing for a barren midwife's soul?

The Midwife isn't your typical, light Mennonite/Amish book, and was born through a time of intense loss, heartbreak, and subsequent healing for the author, Jolina Petersheim. It is a heartrending story, but one of hope, healing, and redemption. A mesmerizing, unpredictable novel, filled with twists and turns, and an element of suspense -- you'll find yourself madly flipping those pages to see if happiness continues to elude Rhoda, the midwife. Jolina Petersheim is a fresh, unique voice in Christian fiction, who knows how to weave a compelling story that evokes powerful emotions in her readers from page one until the satisfying conclusion.
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Format: Kindle Edition
When you read this book, be prepared for an unusual chronology. The prologue is a glimpse into the future, mysterious and puzzling. It does not prepare you for what's to come, but rather sets the tone for the book.

In the opening chapters we are introduced to Beth Winslow, a graduate student assigned to Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick. To assist in the completion of her Master's degree, she has agreed to become the gestational surrogate for the doctor and his wife, Meredith. It's 1995 and soon Beth will be faced with a life changing dilemma.

At first, I found the shifting chronology to be annoying and confusing. It appeared aimless to me until some of the puzzle pieces fell into place. What kept me motivated to read was the desire to make sense of the opening story. Looking back, I can better appreciate the chronology presented since it was the timing of revealed factors that added to the suspense and urgency. I'm still not a fan of this approach, but in this story it serves to increase expectations. I just couldn't put the book down.

What genre is this book written in? I can tell you better what it is not than what it is. For example, it is not a typical romance although there is a satisfying conclusion and the presence of some romance. It is not a boy meets girl kind of story. Many of the characters are not who they claim to be. Yet this is a story that does not easily fit into the mystery, suspense, or thriller genres. There is some mystery, some suspense, but those are not the driving force. It has more character development than action, so it is not a thriller or an action and adventure book. This is not even a "bonnets" story, even though the midwife, Rhoda, is Mennonite, wears a cape dress, apron, and a prayer kapp.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shashasha on June 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm going to start by saying I haven't bought a new book in years. I use the library or buy used books or my kindle. But when I saw the description for "The Midwife" I thought, "I have to read this!" It wasn't at my library, couldn't be found used and I had a 7 hr plane ride coming up. So, I bought The Midwife. I am so glad I did!! This was a great, moving story of mothers and their children, mennonites, midwives, surrogacy, and the redeeming power of God's grace. Love! I highly recommend this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Beth on June 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As the dust from the dirt road settles, and you pull into the drive, you see it: Hopen Haus. A woman in plain clothing and a kapp steps out onto the porch. You walk up the steps and instead of judgment, you receive love; instead of ridicule, you find acceptance. The midwife’s strong, quiet voice says, “Come, my girl,” and your weary heart knows that you've come to a place of refuge, where hope is restored.

Beth Winslow has agreed to be a surrogate for her professor & his wife; she has given birth before, a son, who she gave up for adoption, and she needs funds to complete graduate school, so this seems to be the perfect option. What Beth doesn’t expect is to fall head over heels in love with the child in her womb, a daughter the biological parents decide they don’t want after early tests indicate abnormalities. She chooses to flee to Hopen Haus, and that choice colors the rest of her life with events she could never imagine.

The Midwife is a beautiful, heartbreaking story about motherhood, forgiveness and healing. Although at first I found the story to move more slowly, I came to appreciate the way in which it was told. Alternating between the past with Beth and present with Rhoda and Amelia, the scenes build the story, reaching a culmination that is tinged with both the bitter and the sweet that reconciliation can bring. I love entering a story after the choice has been made – the chips have fallen and maybe it’s not the way the character wanted things to turn out; it’s messy and discordant. Knowing the “what” of the story isn’t as important or compelling as knowing the why and how. In The Midwife, although the reader has some foreknowledge that the characters don’t have, how the characters choose to react to the path that their life has taken is beautiful and compelling.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Jolina Petersheim is the bestselling author of The Midwife and The Outcast, which Library Journal called "outstanding . . . fresh and inspirational" in a starred review and named one of the best books of 2013. She holds degrees in English and communication arts from the University of the Cumberlands, and her writing has been featured in venues as varied as radio programs, nonfiction books, and numerous online and print publications. Her blog is syndicated with The Tennessean's "On Nashville" blog roll, and she also blogs weekly with nine other bestselling authors at Southern Belle View. Jolina and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but now live in the mountains of Tennessee with their young daughter. Follow Jolina and her blog at jolinapetersheim.com.

Excerpt from Jolina's "About" page:

I was born on a hot August day in the heart of Amish country. While my family moved to Tennessee when I was only three years old, my childhood was filled with stories of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestors hiding TVs from bishops and concealing permed hair beneath kapps. But this unique heritage did not interest me. Instead, I pouted as my mother divided my waist-length hair into plaits and then forced me to change from purple overalls into a jean skirt and sneakers in preparation to visit our Plain friends--knowing, even at the tender age of six, that this combination was a fashion faux pas. Playing Hide 'n' Seek or Kick the Can with my Old Order Mennonite peers, however, I soon became grateful for that skirt, which helped me transition from Southern Englischer to intimate friend.

Years passed. I knew my Mennonite playmates had traded braided pigtails for kapped buns, yet on a visit to the community, I rebelled against my mother's instructions and arrived with unbound hair. During supper, which was eaten beneath a popping kerosene bulb, the hostess came and stood behind my portion of the bench. She slid out my blue satin ribbon and plaited my hair as I stared into my bowl of grummbeer supp accented with homemade brot.

The winter of my seventeenth year, I returned to the community to visit my once-raucous playmate whose ill health had transformed her into a soft-spoken friend. The whites of her deep brown eyes had yellowed from liver complications. Her family and my own gathered around her bed, which was heaped with spinning-star quilts, and sang hymns whose Pennsylvania Dutch words I did not know, but whose meaning struck my heart with such clarity, tears slid down my cheeks.

One week later, I stood beside her grave, wearing a thick black headband to hide my newly pierced ears with the fake diamond studs that stabbed the tender skin of my neck and gave me a migraine further magnified by jaw-clenching grief. I remember how the somber community huddled around her family as if their physical presence could shield them, not only from the slashing wind and sleet, but from the reality that their dochder and schweschder's body was about to be placed into the cold, hard ground.

I left for college that summer, almost eighteen years to the day I had been born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I was the first person in my immediate family to attempt a higher education. As I unpacked my flared Lucky jeans and beaded sweaters into wobbling dorm drawers, I thought I was leaving my Mennonite heritage along with a certain broad-shouldered, hazel-eyed man whose father had attended my father's Mennonite high school.

Three years, one death, and two lifetimes' worth of tribulations later, I realized that I had not lost the precious attributes surrounding my Plain heritage, so much as I had needed to go away in order to find myself.

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