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The Midwife's Tale

The Midwife s Tale Elizabeth comes from a long line of midwives and so was expected to follow suit Soon she loses faith in her vocation and her heart to a man who will never return his love even when she moves into hi

  • Title: The Midwife's Tale
  • Author: Gretchen Moran Laskas
  • ISBN: 9780749934552
  • Page: 392
  • Format: Unknown Binding
  • Elizabeth comes from a long line of midwives, and so was expected to follow suit Soon she loses faith in her vocation and her heart to a man who will never return his love, even when she moves into his home to raise his child Elizabeth must also come to terms with the fact that she is barren.

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      Posted by:Gretchen Moran Laskas
      Published :2019-01-02T02:32:21+00:00

    1 thought on “The Midwife's Tale

    1. This is a beautifully written book that I loved reading. The author weaves this story with such depth and insight into a woman's heart and mind. It contains all the ingredients for a great story including, birth, death, love, loss and heartache, all in a remote place where everyday living is hard.Elizabeth became a midwife without any thought or decision. Her mother was a midwife, her grandmother was a midwife and her great grandmother and so on. Only Elizabeth was too gentle a person to be able [...]

    2. I gave this my requisite "50 pages before you quit" but had to jump ship since the narrator (as a teen, at least) was so infuriating with the whining, naivete, and obsession about a guy that seemingly didn't have ANY feelings for her. I'm disappointed since I was really looking forward to a combination of a midwife's story with historical fiction in the Appalachian mountains, but couldn't get past the snotty protagonist. God bless her long-suffering mother, who was interesting, but alas. No go. [...]

    3. A wonderful well written story told by one of the last midwife's in Kettle Valley West Virginia. The year was 1918.Reading this story I felt like I could be reading about my own Grandmother. She was a midwife in south eastern Kentucky around the same time. Rusha also kept journals. Blue ones I never saw any red journalsankfully. I had heard so many of the stories Laskas tells in this book. Stories of love,hard living and undying loyalties and a miracle or two.

    4. It was beautifully written and the author is a wonderful storyteller. It had a personal connection for me as my grandmother was born around the same time as the main character and both lived in rural settings. It was interesting to learn what life was like during that time through the eyes of a woman.

    5. In the early 1900s, a young girl lived with her mother at the base of Denniker's mountain in rural West Virginia. Her name was Elizabeth Whitely, and her mother was a midwife. Even before she reached her own childbearing age, Elizabeth became her mother's assistant, and finally a midwife in her own right, following in the footsteps of not just her mother, but her grandmother and great-grandmother. Elizabeth was also a bastard, never knowing her father. And she was in love, with Alvin Denniker, f [...]

    6. Our local Friends of the library has frequent book sales, where I do my best to support an institution I love, both through volunteerism and patronage. At the last book sale, I found this novel tucked into the health/science section by someone who judged a book by its title, not its content. As I walked it toward the fiction section, I read the back blurb, then decided perhaps it should come home with me, instead. In my younger days I spent much time in the West Virginia mountains. There, I got [...]

    7. I picked this up when last at the library because I am free to read what I want and because it was in the section I was browsing through. I didn't really have expectations about this book, so I am wondering why I feel dissappointed about the story.I thought that Mrs. Laskas did an excellent job of researching the subject matter and making you feel like you were peering through a window in time. Her portrayal of Elizabeths emotions was perfect. I was happy, sad, angry and bewildered right along w [...]

    8. This is the story of a long line of women- all who were raised to be midwives women serving women during times where fair and just were not very clear. I guess even today we could say the same but as I read this book my heart went out to the individuals. Those in loveless marriages. living in poverty. living without the miracle of modern medicine. However, in the midst of all of that there was humanity- woman to woman. I found the mother of the main character to be very interesting. As she watch [...]

    9. This is such a beautifully written novel, set in the early 1900s in rural West Virginia. This is my favorite kind of story, one that follows a family over a period of time, has lots of love and heartache, and a little bit of magic too.Elizabeth comes from a long line of midwives and is trained alongside her mother to continue the family's work. Her first solo birth is an amazing experience but there are darker aspects to midwifery as well. At times Elizabeth questions certain methods and even tu [...]

    10. Loved this book, what a great story teller ms Laskas. As she tells the story, all the characters become real, and you get a birds eye view of Mountain women in the 20's & 30's. This book covered all my emotions from anger to tears of joy and out loud laughter. The story is told by the midwife, Elizabeth, a 4th generation midwife in West Virigna. I am usually a mystery kind of reader, but this was a great change of pace book.

    11. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was fascinated by the descriptions of life as a midwife and intrigued by the heroine's adopted daughter's abilities as a healer. The flaws in the heroine's character -- (there were times when I wanted to grab her and shake her and scream, "what the hell do you think you're doing?") -- were what made her human. This is definitely not a book that a man would enjoy, and possibly not a very young woman, but I personally couldn't lay it down.

    12. Wonderful West Virginia story about midwives and midwifery, a backbone of the agricultural lifestyle, with heady dashes of storytelling thrown in. The people don't speak with a mimed accent, the hillfolk are neither pastoral nor crude, and the action often revolves around family histories that influence the decisions of the characters. Elizabeth is a very interesting narrator with a strong voice. Recommended for anyone who likes quality Appalachian fiction.

    13. I'd have rather given 4.5 stars. Surprisingly good Appalachian fiction that did not get into any of the politics of midwifery, but focused on the tales of relationships instead. The author obviously is attuned to the nuances of different types of relationships; her characters stick with you.

    14. The first half of this book was interesting and intriguing. I loved the midwife stories. The unrequited love part wasn't as good but overall I loved the beautiful writing, the historical fiction and the perspective of this group of characters. The book lost steam in the second half, however. The last half of the book seemed very unrelated to the first half and it really just wasn't as good. For that reason I'm just going to give it an overall 3 stars.

    15. I found myself loving this story, and I didn't have much expectations of it to begin with. While yes, I did find the main character a little hard to like sometimes, I enjoy unlikeable characters as they're often more true to life. The author takes the same approach to the role of a midwife during this time and in this place, and doesn't romanticize it. Worth a read.

    16. I was really excited to begin reading this book! It's not a new book by any means. This book satisfied a genre niche that I love. Women's history, historical fiction, rural life I was ready for some serious character connections with this one.I loved Ivy's character in this novel, as well as Lauren and Mama. I was really into the drama of the first half of the book. Unrequited teenage love, rural life in a cabin, the inherited hard work of a midwife. (And also little quirks that I like in a huge [...]

    17. 4.5 starsThis book was highly recommended to me by a friend and I'm so glad I picked it up. The Midwife's Tale is a beautifully written debut novel. Poignant, raw and sometimes shocking, it portrays with honesty and emotion the realities of life in rural Virginia in the early 1900's. Narrated by Elizabeth, a midwife like her mother and grandmother before her, we experience heartache, love and hardships alongside this strong, compassionate character.Descriptive birthings, timeworn herbal remedies [...]

    18. This is the story of a young woman in rural West Virginia of the early 20th century. Daughter of a midwife who is the daughter of a midwife, she herself catches babies until the pain of her own barrenness and the pain of what midwives do with unwanted babies is too much to bear and she just stops. She goes through the change at 32. She had left home as a young woman to live with a widower she has always desperately loved. She cares for hima nd raises his miracle daughter Lauren. He appreciates h [...]

    19. I was spellbound by The Midwife's Tale. Elizabeth Whitely is a character filled with West VA grit, yet at the same time, she's a woman trying to take her place with the long line of midwives in her family. While still a teenager, she is already following in her mother's footsteps and practicing midwifery, that is until her mother revels the meaning of the red journal. After leaving home for a year, she returns to her mother and to being a midwife when Alvin Denniker comes looking for a midwife t [...]

    20. I wanted to like this book. Honest I did. It was gritty and raw and it had its poignant moments. There were also moments where I knew the author wanted me to cry and I would sit there and try to muster some tears and I didn't manage so much as a sting of tears. Mostly I think this book had an identity crisis. I like the first 1/3 that dealt with Elizabeth learning to be a midwife and then the plot changed to deal with her dysfunctional relationship with a man that I grew to hate. When the plot t [...]

    21. This novel tells the story of a midwife working in rural West Virginia during the flu pandemic of the early 20th century. The characters are real enough to touch, and the reader can feel the wilderness of the community the story takes place in. And, when the midwife is delivering a baby, you are in the room with them. The up-close account of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic -- albeit fictional -- is startling, considering most Americans don't realize that influenza used to be deadly (and in some pl [...]

    22. I loved this book. The characters rang true to me. Although the time and place are unlike my life, it spoke to me in a very deep way. The midwifery is a big part of the book and definitely supports a really wonderful portraiture of womanhood in all its stage from girlhood to old age. . I was emotionally touched by so many themes: the desire to love and be loved in a profound way; the hunger to have a child and the wrenching pain of being barren while others have no problem conceiving; the inabil [...]

    23. For me, this is in the same category as The Birth House because it contains interesting, fictional accounts of births, which I enjoyed, but also strange characters and events that almost made me stop reading the book once or twice. It is the story of a woman, Elizabeth, and her mother, who are local midwives in their small village in West Virginia/Appalachia in the early 1900s. The strangeness comes in the introduction of a little girl who can heal people, an unlikely death and relationship, and [...]

    24. This story takes place in early 1900s West Virginia. It tells the story of young midwife, her mother and grandmother, all of whom are midwives. Aside from a few times when I was confused with her writing and had to read twice to ascertain whether she was writing about past or present, it is a very good read. It is very descriptive in the telling of the births attended by them. At times I was a little upset with the main character, but liked the ending very much. If you like historical fiction, y [...]

    25. Elizabeth Whitely is a fourth generation (at least) midwife. This feels really kind of incidental to the story - it feels much more about one woman's relationship with her mother, her history, her community and herself. The description of the book lead me to assume that her daughter's miraculous abilities would play a larger role in the story than it actually did. It felt like a cautionary tale as well - getting the appearance of what you want isn't the same as getting what you actually need.A g [...]

    26. This story was so very interesting. I was moved, surprised, touched and entertained. Although the story would be improbable to many, I love to believe that there are still miracles. It brought back to me many of the same feelings as when I read "Peace Like a River". I fell in love with many of the characters, while coming to heartily dislike some of the others. Lots of detail made things seem real also. She writes beautifully and descriptively.

    27. Elizabeth Denniker, living in the hills of West Virginia, is to follow in her mother's, grandmother's, and great-grandmother's footsteps and be a midwife. Following her through the years, seeing her decision to alter her path, and watching the results of her choices make for an interesting story. Gretchen Moran Laskas does an admirable job of catching the sound and nuanced voices of the West Virginia hill country, and Elizabeth's voice rings loud and clear.

    28. This book had some uncomfortable parts but the story was gripping and the writing superb. I loved the descriptions and characteristics that came through the storytellers words. It's a story of relationships between mothers and daughters as well as husbands and wives. The midwives had to do some yucky stuff (like "dealing" with unwanted babies) so that part was horrible but that aside, I loved the book!

    29. This book completely drew me in. The time and launguage in West Virginia was thoroughly portrayed and I understood the main character Elizabeth and her personality very well. The only drawback for me was the ending. Towards the last 1/8 of the book it took a dramatic turn that didn't seem to fit anywhere. It wasn't necessarily a bad surprise, just odd in it's placement. Overall, very good and fast read.

    30. Set in Appalachia, The Midwife's Tale is the story of Elizabeth Whitely, who learned to be a midwife from working alongside her mother until she could deliver a baby on her own. We meet Elizabeth in 1913, when she is 15, in Kettle Creek, West Virginiae Midwife's Tale is rich in the traditions, superstitions and mythology of the time and place, told a only a native daughter can share her cultural heritage.

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