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The Midwife

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,189 ratings  ·  183 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 June 1st 2014 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  1,189 ratings  ·  183 reviews

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Natalia Sylvester
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
What an interesting and unique novel. I was pretty lost at the beginning but the story slowly began to unravel. The Midwife is largely about abandonment and motherhood.
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
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

This is a beautifully, intricately woven story. I had seen really high reviews, but wasn't that impressed with the beginning (hence the 4.5), but once I got into Part Two, I has HOOKED. I couldn't put it down! The story became so much deeper than it seemed on the surface, at the beginning. Minor characters became MAJOR in my heart, and with Lydie, at the end...nearly BAWLED MY EYES OUT. The epilogue was just the sweetest, and left me with tears in my eyes as well.

If you like a story t
Nov 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This may sound weird coming from a guy, but...pregnancy has always fascinated me. The thought of one or more little human beings inside another human being has piqued my curiosity for years.

While I enjoyed this novel's touching story of triumph over tragedy, it made me feel really awkward while reading about surrogate motherhood, breech birth, water birth, and such. Unless you're a gynecologist, if you have a "Y" chromosome, this novel will likely have you squirming in your seat.

I recently purge
Shari Larsen
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Amanda Geaney
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've had this book sitting on my bookshelf for over a year and I wish I would have picked it up sooner. While I suppose it could be grouped into the "bonnet fiction" category, the plain way of life did not limit the characters and indeed enhanced the story.

I've volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center on and off for a number of years. The girls at Hope House reminded me of so many young mothers that I've encountered during that time. I like how Jolina emphasized how God is always present even in
Ms. Petersheim just does not disappoint! I’m amazed at her ability with word pictures that few can match. I smiled so often throughout the book at phrases or descriptions that just tickled me. This woman can write!wit

I, unfortunately, didn't pay nearly enough attention to certain characters or even the prologue until the end when my eyes opened and I could see how things fell together to bring about the whole picture.

The reader gets pieces from the characters' stories from 1995 to 2014, going b
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a book. The story has its up and downs. It is a really good read. Well-written. The characters are strong. Liked it. Story of girl who has had many traumatic events in her life. The experiences that she feels are
strongly emotional. Love is what keeps her going. Loved this quote, From the book “The Midwife”
“Why do you love me after I’ve been so cruel?” I asked. The old midwife looked up and smiled sadly, cupping my cheek. “Because, Liebe, that’s what a mother does.” It's story of motherhoo
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an emotional roller coaster of a story which contains so many layers. It's just an amazing book!!!
Lisa Johnson
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Katherine Jones
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Maureen Timerman
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
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
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: y-read-2015
This is not a sweet little Amish romance; in fact, romance has little to do with it. It is, however, an emotionally-engaging, intricately plotted story of the real nitty-gritty of life, birth, and motherhood. The novel follows three alternating storylines: a young grad student who opts to be a surrogate for a childless couple, a young girl who becomes pregnant while trying to find the acceptance and belonging she craves in boyfriends, and the head midwife at a home for unwed mothers who protects ...more
Stefanie Kamerman
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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!
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
The Midwife is beautifully written, engrossing and heartwarming. Checkout the full review here:
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book covers so many subjects: surrogacy, Mennonite and Amish lifestyles, abandonment, adoption, infertility, and more. The one thing I had a hard time with was one character was not turned over to the police for his horrible actions. The Amish might not want that, but there were “Englishers” involved also. A very good read.
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! First off, it was clean, no sex scenes or swearing. I love that it was about a midwife, but it also had some suspense, and lots of page turning drama.
Mary Elizabeth Morton
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An intriguing, beautifully written and thought-provoking novel. I can see myself reading and enjoying more of Jolina's books.
Kathleen Meacham
Twists and turns along the way. Good pacing.
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
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jalynn Patterson
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unwed-mother, midwife
This was a good read. The young unwed mother, ends up being a midwife, in the same place, she delivered her own baby. The home is in need of repair, and money. A man, who helps repair the home, is someone from the midwives past. Another young woman, associated with the midwives past, enters the home for unwed woman. Some closure was made for these three people.
Becky Dempsey
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Denise Hershberger
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 w
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
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
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Jolina Petersheim is the highly acclaimed author of How the Light Gets In, The Divide, The Alliance, 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. That book also became an ECPA, CBA, and Amazon bestseller and was featured in Huffington Post's Fall Picks, USA Today, Publishers Weekl ...more

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