Martha Cade is a midwife in 1830 Pennsylvania. She is excellent at her job. However her world is about to spin out of control and the events will test her faith in herself, community, and her deep faith in God.
After a delivery she receives word that her 17-year-old daughter Victoria has run away with a theater troupe. Martha immediately goes in search of her daughter leaving her home and obligations behind. Martha will return home without her daughter to face the town she left 3 months earlier.
She will find things have changed during her fruitless journey. Martha feels shame and deep anger over Victoria running off, guilt that she was not at home when Victoria left, anger that she had to always choose between her calling and her family, and fear that she will lose her profession. Her dream of Victoria taking over for her has been broken into pieces.
The old doctor died and a new doctor arrived while she was gone. She fears the community will not welcome her back after the shame of Victoria running off and the new doctor will take her business.
CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, AND DEVELOPMENT:
Author Delia Parr portrayed the methods of medicine in child-birth in all its ineffective results from the medical establishment. Bleeding was a standard practice at that time and barbaric.Martha’s faith is sorely tested.
As with most of us, Martha is wallowing in self-pity when things get tough. She waxes and wanes in her belief that God is in control, but always returns to God. As we all do in life, she can be selfish, angry, and self-pitting. Christians are not perfect by any means. Ms. Parr does a wonderful job of portraying Christians as we are in all our faults and failures. But yet Martha continues believing in the good of God and his love through all her trials.
Author Delia Parr has created many facets to this story. As well as Martha’s grief over her daughter, fear of losing her job, and fear of the communities reaction; we have a Boy Academy of street boys from New York open in the community, and their involvement with the citizens starts with a bang.
Martha finds herself drawn to Willie, one the waifs, even through he has a knack for getting into mischief. This added a wonderful dimension to the book. There is a mystery involved in this story of thefts. When the guilty party was revealed, what a surprise; Ms. Parr did a good job of peaking your interest and keeping it high. This added another dimension to the story as well. We find Martha has a romantic interest in Mr. Thomas Dillon that she has long refused to admit to herself. Ms Parr’s pacing and character development were spot on.
Underlying this story is the theme of God love, forgiveness, and grace. Ms. Parr plants these lessons without being preachy or pushy. This is a wonderful read and highly enjoyable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Delia is the author of 17 historical novels. A retired high school teacher, she now claims the Florida Gulf Coast as home. When she isn’t writing, she’s volunteering or traveling to visit her seven grandchildren.
OTHER BOOKS I HAVE REVIEWED YOU MIGHT LIKE:
The Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection
Mail Order Marriage
Healing Montana Sky
A Brides Agreement
Brides Of The Old West