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The Reluctant Midwife

(Hope River #2)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  4,219 ratings  ·  491 reviews
The USA Today bestselling author of The Midwife of Hope River returns with a heartfelt sequel, a novel teeming with life and full of humor and warmth, one that celebrates the human spirit

The Great Depression has hit West Virginia hard. Men are out of work; women struggle to feed hungry children. Luckily, Nurse Becky Myers has returned to care for them. While she can handle
Paperback, 409 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,219 ratings  ·  491 reviews

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Oct 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Harman successfully sketches the harshness of the 1930’s. The Great Depression at the center as well as a tragic wildfire. Despite the desperation, the lack of food and work, in some instances homelessness, people pull together and hold out a helping hand and/or open their doors. Neighbor looking after and supporting their fellow neighbor. Inspiring and uplifting of the sense of community in the face of difficult trials as struggles were shared together.

Becky isn’t easy to like, in fact she’s do
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

The Reluctant Midwife is a heartwarming and engaging novel by Patricia Harman, set in the same location and era as her fiction debut, The Midwife of Hope River.

Penniless, homeless and the sole carer of her inexplicably catatonic ex-employer, Dr Isaac Blum, nurse Becky Myers is in desperate straits by the time she arrives in Hope River, rural West Virgina. It is the 1930's, times are tough for everyone, and with few options, Becky is forced to figure out a way to support herself and Blum.

Dec 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I’m always very, very hesitant when a book’s description boasts that fans of Whatever Book or This Show will love it—kind of like when a book’s description says a mixture of This Popular Book and That Popular Book. What can I say? I’m a skeptic.

I’m a huge Call the Midwife fan. (Hint: it’s on Netflix, folks!). So when I read the description for The Reluctant Midwife, I laughed. Just because it says ‘midwife’ in the title doesn’t mean it’s going to satisfy my need while I wait for the next season
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Babies, folks helping each other, and a difficult, but wonderful era.

Patience and Becky knew each other from years before and became reacquainted when Becky moved back to town with Dr. Blum who is now disabled.

Patience is a midwife, and Becky is a nurse. Both women deliver babies together and share what they have food wise and material wise to make ends meet and to make it through the difficult times of The Depression. You will follow Patience, Becky, Dr. Blum, Patience's husband, and all of the
What fabulous sequel to the "The Midwife of Hope River". Nurse Becky Meyers, and the doctor she served, Dr. Isaac Blum, return to Hope River to settle into Dr. Blum's family home, only to discover it's been sold to settle back taxes. Dr. Blum has become catatonic, and Becky hopes the peace of the countryside will restore his spirits. But with no place to call home, Becky seeks out Patience Hester. But the Hester homestead has been abandoned. Fortunately, Patience and her husband David have only ...more
Maureen Timerman
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
This is a book that once you turn the first page, you will not be able to put down. We are transported the 1930’s in American, and back to West Virginia, the Great Depression. West Virginia is at 80% unemployment, and nurse Becky Meyers finds herself homeless and also the caretaker of her former boss Dr. Isaac Blum.
I felt myself walking in Becky’s shoes, looking at the bread lines, and having feelings of doubt as a baby is about to come into the world. I was holding to tooth brush as we brushed
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, favorites
The Reluctant Midwife picks up about 5-ish years after The Midwife of Hope River, still in Union County, West Virginia. The story focuses on Nurse Becky Myers and her ex-boss, Dr. Isaac Blum. This book reads just fine as a standalone, but in my opinion it is much better if you've read the first book because the main characters from that story play major roles in this one and it is nice to have their backstory. Both Becky and Isaac were secondary characters in the first book.

Becky Myers was prev
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent book by Patricia Harman!
Returning to Union County with Dr. Blum in tow, Becky Meyers the one time Health Nurse of Liberty, WV. Dr. Blum has become catatonic after a tragedy in his life, they come to live in his house after not receiving any help from his family. After finding the house is sold, Becky stays at Patience Murphy's old house and tries to get a job. Set during the depression, 1934, it is very hard to do so. With the help of her old friend Patience, Becky becomes the
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I so enjoyed the characters and setting of this book! Nurse Becky is caring for her former employer, Isaac Blum who has been silent since the death of his wife. They find themselves homeless & jobless, so they return to Hope River. There Becky finds a home, and her friend Patience. It is a story of overcoming barriers, friendship, and finding hope. I loved it, and can't wait for her next novel. I also read The Midwife of Hope River, and recommend both for a good read!
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was historical fiction. I like this genre and I willingly search out books that fall into this category. I was excited when I got this one and I thought I'd enjoy this one more than I did. However, overall, this one was just okay for me.

The story line was predictable early on and it was a little on the "overly sweet" side for me. So 2 stars.
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Becky Myers is used to hard work and a life filled with disappointment. She grew up with privilege as the daughter of a local physician in Vermont. She married a doctor before the Great War and continued to live in New England. Sadly, her husband was never quite the same after his return from the war and committed suicide shortly after his return home. Determined to start over, Becky received additional medical training and eventually settled in West Virginia as a nurse with the public health de ...more
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Review also found at

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher William Morrow via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. The book has just been published**

This is the second novel in the Hope River series following The Midwife of Hope River and I had not read the first one. I carefully researched before requesting this to ensure that I could read it as a stand alone and I was correct. That being said for those who have read the first story
An amazing book that again reminds me that I have been born in the wrong era. Okay I know that times were difficult "way back" but whenever crises develop in my household or community, I become alive and ready. I like the sense of community and back to the roots mentality that this book exhibited and it was down right charming, something I wish that modern society never lost. I read a lot of genre but coming back to this kind of book feels like going home. Patricia Harman weaves a story that kee ...more
Marianne Hetzer Hawn
After reading The Midwife of Hope River, I was eager to revisit the simple, honest folks of Liberty, WV. Like my everlasting love for Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, my appreciation for Patricia Harman's work stems from her desire to portray a place and time honestly -- with optimism rather than pessimism. Folks are not perfect (some are not even decent) and terrible things sometimes happen, but hope prevails.
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
"The Reluctant Midwife" by Patricia Harman, is a sequel to "The Midwife of Hope River" (which I have not yet read, but that did not affect my reading of this book).

Becky Myers is now taking care of Isaac Blum, the physician whom she assisted in both surgery and outpatient practice. Dr. Blum has suffered a catatonic seizure after the tragic accidental death of his wife. His brother lost patience with Isaac's mute state and cut him off completely, so, with no one else to care for him, Becky takes
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
When I agreed to review this book, I realized that I should probably read the first book, The Midwife of Hope River, first. I'm normally one of those readers who just can't jump into a series mid-stream and starting with The Reluctant Midwife just didn't sit well with me.

So, before I go any further with this review, I do feel I should address the "sequel" aspect of this book. Yes, The Reluctant Midwife is the second book in the series and, in many ways, it feels like a second book. However, the
Missy McNaney
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a good account of how people had to live during the Great Depression in West Virginia. I also enjoyed reading about the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) which I knew nothing about. An informative historical fiction.
Lovers of TV’s Call the Midwife will enjoy this tale of a small-town American midwife’s assistant, reluctantly taking on the job when the Depression leaves her hopeless and almost homeless. The lives of people struggling on the edges of poverty are vividly portrayed, and there’s plenty of well-researched history, covering race relations, rejection of outsiders, mistrust of government programs, and the pursuit of medicine. Protagonist Becky is a doctor’s daughter and physician’s assistant. But th ...more
Andrea Guy
I didn't realize when I picked up this book that it was part of a series, but not to worry you didn't need to read The Midwife Of Hope River.

This story takes place during the Great Depression in a small town in West Virginia. I've read a lot of books that take place during this time period, but West Virginia really was hit hard by the depression. As you see how hard the people worked and struggled to get by.

It really is hard to imagine how they lived on so very little, and my heart ached for so
Cathy Daniel
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! The ending made me teary.
"From devastation comes new life"
* there is an emergency c-section that I had to skip that lasted a couple of pages. Some of the births are too detailed also. I wish that was left out but I'm very much a queasy person when it comes to this stuff. It may not bother anybody else.
However, I still loved this book and the gentle wisdom in it.
Jane Hilton
Jun 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
Just an okay book..the first one she wrote was better in my opinion...
Story Circle Book Reviews
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I was captivated by The Reluctant Midwife: A Hope River Novel, which is set in rural West Virginia in the 1930's. I was immediately drawn to the mystery of why surgeon Dr. Blum suddenly became mute and remained so. Why would his nurse of over seven years, Becky Meyers, tote him from place to place, caring for him when they had only a professional relationship? Because of his nearly catatonic state, he had lost his medical practice and both lost their livelihood. I eagerly followed the trail of c ...more
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I won't deny that my love of the BBC series Call the Midwife is what sparked my interest in The Reluctant Midwife, but the reality is that, except for the fact that midwifery is central to both stories, there really aren't many similarities. The TV show, while based on memoirs, is quintessentially English, and set in the 50s and (now) 60s. This novel is a decidedly American story, and takes place during the Great Depression.

You might think that such a period would lead to a depressing story, bu
Viviane Crystal
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Nurse Becky Myers and her former employer, Dr. Isaac Blum, travel back to their origins in a small West Virginia town. They are almost penniless and Blum bears the appearance of a mentally challenged individual who just stares and is totally dependent on Becky to feed, dress and change him on a daily basis. Her own marriage has fallen apart as her husband was obviously suffering from what we now know is PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, a violent aftermath of his war experiences. Later he fi ...more
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was so different from what I was expecting it to be. Becky Meyers is a registered nurse and finds herself now caring for the doctor for whom she worked as he is now in a catatonic state of some sort. His family has abandoned him and she refuses to do the same. It is the height of the Great Depression and finding work is almost impossible for a man let alone a woman. Becky pushes through managing through grit, determination and some luck to keep the two of them from starving – but barel ...more
Becky ♡The Bookworm♡
An excellent follow-up to The Midwife of Hope River, this book takes place many years later and is told primarily from the perspective of Nurse Becky Myers formerly of Virginia. Becky finds herself nearly broke, unemployed, and the only person willing to take care of her disabled charge. When it's clear they can no longer stay in her small apartment in Virginia, her charge breaks his silence of many months and says one word: "Hope" Putting the pieces together, Becky packs them up and heads for H ...more
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the 4th book of Patricia Harman's that I have read - the sequel to this book plus two non-fiction accounts of the author's life were the other three. I'm sorry to write that this is my least favorite of all the books.

I loved the sequel to this book "The Midwife of Hope River." One reason I fell so in love with the story were the characters of the midwife, Patience and her assistant midwife Bitsy. Both were bigger-than-life and cared for (both physically and emotionally) the women of Hope
Kim Overstreet
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the second novel in the Hope River series, and will work equally well as a standalone or as a sequel to The Midwife of Hope River. The story is very readable, told in interconnected atmospheric vignettes. It is well researched and passed my Wikipedia test. I learned new facts as I read, and was inspired to learn even more- about the CCC, tuberculosis, midwifery, the state of medicine in the 1930's, and the Great Depression.

The story's main protagonist is Becky, a nurse caring for her fo
Marie Z. Johansen
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had not been aware of this author until I had the get good fortune to receive an ARC of this title.

I had no expectations as I began to read. I suppose that I was thinking along the lines of the television series "Call The Midwife". What an excellent read this is! We follow this tale , whose protagonist is a registered nurse who is caring for her former employer- a currently disabled doctor who presents, as the story begins, as more or less catatonic. Penniless and destitute, they have enough m
Holly Schinler
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read both of the Hope River books, and enjoyed them very much. The first book ( The Midwife of Hope River) is about Patience, a midwife in rural West Virginia, who is struggling to survive in tough economic times during the depression. The author, Patricia Harman, describes the desperation so many families faced in the 1930's and the characters in the story are very interesting and believable. Two of the characters, Nurse, Becky Myers, and Dr. Blum in the first novel become the central protago ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Sep 19, 2015 01:43PM  
  • Wishing on Baby Dust
  • Labor of Love: A Midwife's Memoir
  • A Peek at Bathsheba (The David Chronicles #2)
  • Nightingales on Call (Nightingales #4)
  • Whatever Happened to Mourning Free? (The Olivia Series, #3)
  • Shadow of Reality (Elizabeth and Richard Mysteries, #1)
  • A Midwife's Story
  • Call Nurse Millie (Nurse Millie #1)
  • Claiming Noah
  • Currency of the Heart (Secrets on Sterling Street, #1)
  • Forgiving Maximo Rothman
  • Why I March: Images from the Woman's March Around the World
  • The Last Midwife
  • Hysterical: Anna Freud's Story
  • Don't Let the Wind Catch You
  • Forever Friday
  • Before She Sleeps
  • A Stillness of Chimes
Patricia Harman has spent over thirty years caring for women as a midwife, first as a lay-midwife, delivering babies in cabins and on communal farms in West Virginia, and later as a nurse-midwife in teaching hospitals and in a community hospital birthing center.

She spent over a decade in the sixties and seventies in her wild youth living in rural communes in Washington (Tolstoy Farm), Connecticut


Other books in the series

Hope River (3 books)
  • The Midwife of Hope River (Hope River #1)
  • Once a Midwife (Hope River #3)
“I never touched a brown hand before today, but my daddy told me that there isn’t no difference. He said we’re all the same under the skin, same blood, same heart.” 1 likes
“We think our problems are so big, but the universe is so much bigger and everyone on this planet has problems; it’s part of being alive.” 1 likes
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