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The Midwife

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  387 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Since the day Rhoda Mummau was baptized into the Old Order Mennonite Church and became the head midwife of Hopen Haus, she's been torn between the needs of the unwed mothers under her care and her desire to conceal the secrets of her past. Contact with the outside world could provide medical advantages, but remaining secluded in the community gives her the anonymity she cr ...more
Paperback, 383 pages
Published May 16th 2014 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published January 1st 2014)
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Community Reviews

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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 b
Natalia Sylvester
Everything Jolina Petersheim writes, she writes with so much heart it's impossible not to get pulled into the story and instantly care about the characters. I loved this about her first novel, The Outcast, and it's what made this second story ring true to me. In The Midwife, Petersheim explores the complexities of motherhood, what it means to be a mother, and the power of a mother's love. The story is at times heartbreaking, but Jolina has a beautiful gift for shedding light on hope in even unim ...more
Shari Larsen
Beth Winslow is a graduate student who agrees to become a surrogate for her professor and his wife, but when early test indicate that the baby could be born with abnormalities, Beth is unprepared for the parents decision to terminate the pregnancy. Desperate to protect the unborn child, she flees and takes refuge at Hopen Haus, a home for unwed mothers in a Mennonite community.

Rhoda Mummau is the head midwife at Hopen Haus; she gives everything to the girls there but her heart, afraid of exposin
A Riveting Read!

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 Me
Maureen Timerman
The Midwife is one riveting read, a real page-turner, and you really never see what is coming. This is one where I can usually figure out the ending in my mind, not this one.
As we travel down on journey of life, it is probably a very good thing that we cannot see what is around the next corner. We travel with Beth, really beginning with her consensual decision to be a surrogate, having already experienced the pain of giving up a child to adoption. How she thought that it would be easier the seco
Katherine Jones
The Midwife began as a story I had to simply throw myself into. The first several chapters are deliberately ambiguous, and I had to let go of my need to understand everything and simply trust that the author would make sense of all the little pieces in time. Which of course, she does.

In her Author’s Notes, Jolina writes: “I never thought I would write about my Mennonite heritage because I was just too close to view it objectively. It wasn’t until someone told me a true story about an affair that
Stefanie Kamerman
Heartbreaking and heart warming are the two words that would best describe this novel. Jolina's puts together the powerful story of Beth, who becomes Rhoda after being baptized into the Mennonite community. Throughout the book my heart clenched for Rhoda to find relief and closure to her painful past.

I enjoyed getting to know all the characters who made up this story. When Ameila arrives, she shakes things up a bit at the Hopen Haus- a girl who has many choices comes to the one place where many
The Midwife is the second book I have read by the author and I found this book to be just as good as the first. In this story, Beth Winslow is a struggling graduate student who becomes a surrogate for her professor and his wife. However, when the couple finds out that their unborn daughter has defects, they want Beth to get an abortion. Instead, Beth runs away and goes to the Hopen Haus, a Mennonite home for unwed moms. There, Beth meets Rhoda who is the head midwife but Rhoda is harboring a sec ...more
Denise Hershberger
The Midwife

by Jolina Petersheim

Normally if I look at the cover of a novel and there are Amish or Mennonite head coverings or dresses on the cover I don't even bother reading the back cover let alone the book. You see for three and a half years I lived about 15 minutes north of a large area of Mennonite and Amish in OH, my husband grew up Mennonite and my in-laws both grew up Amish. So I didn't really have any interest in reading novelizations of their lives since from first hand experience I wa
Cynthia Robertson
The Midwife is beautifully written, engrossing and heartwarming. Checkout the full review here:
What an astounding book! A profound story about life and loss and ultimately hope. A wonderful witness to the glory of God's master plan and his divine ability to heal the deepest wounds.

Petersheim has a unique writing style. Rich descriptive passages paint vivid images that add depth and vibrancy to a compelling plot. Unusual too, because the story is written in first person point of view. Pay attention to the headings and dates because The Midwife is told from different characters' viewpoints
Brandi (Rambles of a SAHM)
I read and enjoyed the author's debut novel The Outcast and I expected to enjoy this book just as much. To say that I enjoyed The Midwife would be a gross understatement. The story just blew me away. If I did not already know that this was only her second novel, I would have never guessed.

I had presupposed that this would be an interesting story about a Mennonite midwife. It was . . . but that was only the tip of the iceberg. The story begins with Beth Winslow. She is a grad student working on h
I don't read a lot of fiction these days, but the premise of this book intrigued me. A midwife in the Mennonite community struggles with secrets from her past and finds it difficult to allow herself to get close to anyone.
Without giving too much away, a young woman (Beth) agrees to be a gestational surrogate for a professor and his wife. What that means is that the baby inside her is not connected to her biologically but is genetically the baby of the professor and his wife. When during the preg
The Midwife by Jolina Petersheim is one of those books that I passed over reading for awhile because I'm not a huge Amish fiction fan. I like most of Beverly Lewis' books, but I've found the huge surge of Amish fiction following Lewis' popular work to be largely cheesy, unrealistic, and poorly written. So I never jump to read an Amish fiction that's not by Lewis. However, the description to this book sounded so intriguing that I gave in and gave it a shot. The description reads:

"The story about
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
Lisa Johnson
Title: The Midwife
Author: Jolina Petersheim
Pages: 400
Year: 2014
Publisher: Tyndale
As in her first novel, The Outcast, the author is able to draw in the heart of the reader while delving into the story. Sometimes when I look at the stack of books I am blessed with reading, the choice of my next book can be really hard when faced with many wonderful books or unknown authors I want to discover. As is my practice, I wait to see which one the Lord would
Becky Dempsey
I received a free paperback copy of "The Midwife" by Jolina Petersheim in order for me to read and review it for Tyndaleblognetwork.

I have read both of Jolina's books and enjoyed them both. It takes some getting used to her style of writing where you switch from the viewpoint of different characters in the book. 'The Midwife" follows Beth Winslow in the mid 1990's and Rhoda in 2014.

Beth agrees to be a gestational surrogate for her graduate adviser and his wife. But when there are problems, the
The Midwife is a truly amazing book written by a extremely talented author. After reading the first book by Jolina I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. I wasn't disappointed at all. I only have good things to say about this book. I don't think I could find anything negative to say about The Midwife even if I wanted to (which I don't!). If your looking for a great read then look no further!
Jalynn Patterson
About the Book:

Since the day Rhoda Mummau was baptized into the Old Order Mennonite Church and became the head midwife of Hopen Haus, she’s been torn between the needs of the unwed mothers under her care and her desire to conceal the secrets of her past. Contact with the outside world could provide medical advantages, but remaining secluded in the community gives her the anonymity she craves.

Graduate student Beth Winslow is on a path she never would have chosen. Heartbroken after surrendering a
Kellie Gilbert
THE MIDWIFE is a stunning narrative that explores maternal attachment in all its forms, and God's all-encompassing care and plan, even when we take on His role and try to direct our own paths. Ms. Petersheim colors outside the lines with her unique writing style, and I have once again fallen in love with her work.
~Kellie Coates Gilbert, author of A Woman of Fortune and Mother of Pearl
" The Midwife" by Jolina Petersheim gets five stars from me! It was a book that I wanted to read since I read her other book "The Outcast" and I wasn't disappointment!

This books travels from the past to the present and I believe that is what makes the book so interesting! I was really hooked from the first sentence of the prologue to the last word of this book!

The details are so well written that you feel you are actually talking to Beth and Rhoda and the other characters. I really felt their he
Gary Parkes
Wow! What a page-turner and a fantastic book!! I often listen to mysteries and thrillers and this book had more twists and turns than most books I read in that genre. It was hard to put down and I finished it in two days. I liked the fact that although this was a book centering around female protagonists, the male characters were not vilified and were fleshed out as real people too.The story was filled with a gamut of emotions, living in the gray, rather than black and white. This book really ma ...more
This is an emotional roller coaster of a story which contains so many layers. It's just an amazing book!!!
Wonderful story blending a the tale of a modern young lady from 1995 who has agreed to be a surrogate mother and an old order Mennonite midwife who has a house for young unmarried pregnant girls. But all is not as it seems and there are twists and turns in the story that left me wanting to know what would happen next. What happened to Beth’s baby? Would Hopen Haus have to shut down? What caused Rhoda’s grief? I couldn’t put this book down and highly recommend it, even for those who don’t like “A ...more
Jessica Higgins
An emotional work that is sure to draw in parents and non-parents alike with an extraordinary story full of troubled characters.
Rhoda Mammau was accepted in the Mennonite community shortly after her arrival. After an unfortunate back incident for the head midwife, Rhoda is moved into the head midwife position at Hopen Haus in Tennessee.. She uses her seclusion to hide from past mistakes that she carries with her.
Beth Winslow has agreed to become a surrogate for a couple in exchange for tuition
I had high hopes for this book simply based on the good reviews. I also have been wanting the read The Outcast which I have yet to do. This book was far better than I had hoped and I really enjoyed every page. The characters have great depth and personality. There is a lot typed up in the words and while the plot isn't difficult to figure out it still creates emotion. I fear some people will see this book and think it's another typical Amish book, and it's not at all. Set in the Mennonite commun ...more
This book evidently has a lot of fans who find it a 'page-turner' and an 'emotional roller coaster.' I wanted to like it, but ended up quitting before I'd finished reading it.
Far from stirring emotions, I found the the characters unrealistically analytical. Firstly, the author makes the mistake of having the characters tell their feelings and their psychological responses to events, rather than showing us how the characters feel and letting the reader interpret how the characters are affected an
Laura Kay Bolin

The Midwife is an absolute outstanding read. Jolina didn't just write Beth breathed life into Beth. Beth is a young girl trying to do something good to help someone else by becoming a surrogate at a time when it was relatively new. Things get over her head when the doctors believe the baby has abnormalities and the parents want to terminate the pregnancy. A mother's hedge of protection surround this tiny soul within her womb and Beth runs to protect her. A
This is a unique story that takes place in the past and in the present, in the English world and in the Mennonite community. In 1996, Beth was a graduate student who agreed to become a surrogate. She told herself it was just a business transaction and she wasn't related to the child, after all. When an early test shows possible abnormalities and the parents decide to abort the baby, she can't deny the love she feels for the baby and goes on the run. She turns to Hopen Haus, a place where pregnan ...more
May 28, 2014 Becky rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: amish
Raw emotion mixed with fierce maternal tension.

Petersheim weaves a tale of raw emotion tangled with deep regrets and the choice to forgive and love or hold onto the anger and stay safely locked away in one's own prison. Can Rhoda, head midwife of Hopen Haus, come to grips with the past when it stares her in the face, literally? Amelia, a young pregnant woman, stirs up feelings and memories in Rhoda like no other young mother before. While Rhoda longs for love, the road to healing may be too pain
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Jolina Petersheim is the bestselling author of 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 ...more
More about Jolina Petersheim...
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