Title: The Secrets of Midwives
Author: Sally Hempworth
The Secrets of Midwives in an extraordinary second novel written by talented Australian author Sally Hempworth. What’s even more extraordinary is that Sally is NOT a midwife! Yet it is clear that she has done a vast amount of research which has paid off. To readers who have no medical knowledge it really does sound like it’s written by someone who has worked in the profession. But do not let that put you off, as the novel is easy to understand and does not get bogged down in medical terms.
The story follows the point of view from three generations of midwives, alternating between grandmother Floss, Daughter Grace and granddaughter Neva. It mostly centers around Neva as she accepts the reality of her pregnancy, as well as keeping the father of her baby a secret which makes Floss and Grace reflect back on the similarities between Neva and their own situations of motherhood and childhood, whilst struggling with their own secrets. Secrets that can tear their family apart bring them closer together.
As someone who wouldn’t normally read this kind of story (and has not interest in babies any time soon), I was a bit hesitant to it at first. But now I’m really glad I read it. I really cannot explain how easy it was to read. I don’t mean that in terms of it being simple, but it was just written so well and everything flowed so beautifully, being descriptive where needed, but also backing off at times, being engaging and interesting, yet still remaining realistic. It really is a beautiful blend of penmanship.
I really cannot wait to see what Sally comes up with next!