Title: The Runaway Midwife
Author: Patricia Harman
Genre/Audience: Fiction, contemporary, adult
Publication: William Morrow, 2017
Source: For review, TLC Book Tours
This is another guest review from my mom, Kim, who has done a number of reviews for my blog.
Midwife Clara Perry is accustomed to comforting her pregnant patients. But when Clara’s life takes a nosedive following her husband’s infidelity, her best friend’s suicide, and the tragic death of a patient, she does something drastic: she runs away and starts over again in a place where no one knows her or the mess she’s left behind in West Virginia. Heading to Sea Gull Island—a tiny, remote Canadian island—Clara is ready for anything. Deciding to reinvent herself, Clara takes a new identity—Sara Livingston, a writer seeking solitude. But there’s no avoiding the outside world. The residents are friendly, and draw “Sara” into their lives and confidences. She volunteers at the local medical clinic, using her midwifery skills, and forms a tentative relationship with a local police officer.
But what will happen if she lets down her guard and reveals the real reason why she left her old life? One lesson soon becomes clear: no matter how far you run, you can never really hide from your past.
This is a new author for me, although I have dabbled in the midwife genre before. It started with the PBS series Call the Midwife which was based on the memoirs of an actual midwife in the poorest sections of England during the 1950’s and 60’s. Knowing that was based on a book series, of course I read those, because we all know the book is always better.
The Runway Midwife is a contemporary novel and the midwife portions of the book are not the central theme. Clara is just at her wit’s end and isn’t really prepared to cope with all the drama going on her life, so she decides to run away and start over in a place where she had good memories as a child. Her character is very sympathetic and you can totally justify her leaving. Sea Gull Island sounds like a magical place, except for the five months of winter, and it has the small town characters I love. I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish it because I was dying to know if her past catches up with her and how it all ended.