For nearly two hundred years, women in Ashley Tolliver’s family have practiced the art of midwifery in their mountain community. Now she wants to take her skills a step further, but attending medical school means abandoning those women to whom she has dedicated her life, the mountains she loves, and the awakening of her heart.
Ashley Tolliver has tended to the women of her small Appalachian community for years. As their midwife, she thinks she has seen it all. Until a young woman gives birth at Ashley’s home and is abducted just as Ashley tries to take the dangerously bleeding mother to the nearest hospital. Now Ashley is on a mission to find the woman and her newborn baby . . . before it’s too late.
Hunter McDermott is on a quest—to track down his birth mother. After receiving more media attention than he could ever want for being in the right place at the right time, he receives a mysterious phone call from a woman claiming to be his mother. Hunter seeks out the aid of the local midwife in the mountain town where the phone call originated—surely she can shed some light on his own family background.
Ashley isn’t prepared for the way Hunter’s entrance into her world affects her heart and her future. He reignites dreams of having her own family that she has long put aside in favor of earning her medical degree and being able to do even more for her community. But is it commitment to her calling or fear of the unknown that keeps her feet firmly planted in the Appalachian soil? Or is it something more—fear of her growing feelings for Hunter—that makes her hesitant to explore the world beyond the mountains?
Laurie Alice Eakes quite simply has a way with words… and with characters. I was delighted to see these strengths just as evident in The Mountain Midwife, her first contemporary novel, as in her historicals. The fact that characters in The Mountain Midwife descended from characters in two of her historical series made it just all the more thrilling for a book adorer like me.
When I read novels like this, books that wink at the author’s other works, I feel a little like Anne Shirley – caught up in the felicity of the illusion that the author and I are having a moment. Laurie Alice knows she nodded at Choices of the Heart. I know she nodded at Choices of the Heart. Voila! We’ve bonded across the pages and are now kindred spirits. (Plus she and I both graduated from the same small university … so we’re practically sisters.)
Hunter and Ashley grabbed my heart almost at once – separately and together. Their instant attraction was adorable. The natural progression of their relationship made me feel like I was being wrapped up in a warm quilt, and every time they shared a page I found that I couldn’t stop smiling. Both struggle with pride in their own way, and their journeys toward overcoming it are beautifully penned.
Speaking of “beautifully penned”, I just love the way Eakes’ writing voice lilts and dips, giving breath to both the characters and the Appalachian setting. Spiritual truths are woven organically into the story – with poignant grace – never straying into “preachy” or “trite” territory. The hints of mystery and suspense iced an already delicious cake, and the romance made my heart (and my face) grin.
Somebody please tell me this is the first book in a series because I’m not ready to say goodbye to the people of Brooks Ridge. There are many stories I need to hear. Like Heather’s. And Mary Kate’s. And still even Ashley’s. I loved the ending but it only made me want more!
Bottom Line: Laurie Alice Eakes delivers a contemporary story of faith, hope, and love with the same exquisite style that make her historical novels so popular. You will be drawn in by the first paragraph, captured by the story, and swept up in the smooth cadence of Eakes’ voice. If you are a fan of her Midwives series, you absolutely need to read The Mountain Midwife.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion
(There’s still time to enter the Goodreads Giveaway too!)
About the Author:
“Eakes has a charming way of making her novels come to life without being over the top,” writes Romantic Times of bestselling, award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes. Since she lay in bed as a child telling herself stories, she has fulfilled her dream of becoming a published author, with a degree in English and French from Asbury University and a master’s degree in writing fiction from Seton Hill University contributing to her career path. Now she has nearly two dozen books in print.
After enough moves in the past five years to make U-Haul’s stock rise, she now lives in Houston, Texas, where she and her husband are exploring their new neighborhood. Although they haven’t been blessed with children—yet–they have sundry lovable dogs and cats. If the carpet is relatively free of animal fur, then she is either frustrated with the current manuscript, or brainstorming another, the only two times she genuinely enjoys housework.