The Midwife’s Tale by Sam Thomas (HOLY SMOKES! It is GOOD!)
1644. Armies have risen against the King and have attacked on and off the city of York. For widowed midwife Bridget Hodgson, life must go on. Servants call day and night requesting her services for babies about to be born.
When one of Bridget’s friends is convicted for killing her husband and scheduled to be burned at the stake, Bridget along with her newly acquired maid servant Martha set out to prove her innocence. Many obstacles are in their way as Bridget and Martha avoid the rebels, the higher ups of the community, and an unwelcome appearance from Martha’s past.
As this unusual duo digs into the case, they uncover much more than they had bargained for and many people that would rather keep things covered up.
I started this book late one evening while I was looking for a read before bed. With the little bit I read before sleep, I was already hooked. I spent the next day reading every chance I got.
The Midwife’s Tale is an excellent work of historical fiction. Sam Thomas wrote a story that is so engaging, so informative; I had a hard time putting it down. For a woman of the 1600’s, Bridget is strong, smart, and independent, my favorite type of female character. And while Martha comes with some weird baggage, she adds just the right mix to an already appealing story.
7 hours later I emerge out of this book completely satisfied with all of it. The beginning brought me in from page one, the middle held me, never feeling drug out or pages of “filler” and the ending superb. There are not many books I can say that about.
In the end it was interesting to know that the author Sam Thomas is a history professor who created the character Bridget Hodgson from a will of a once living midwife of the same name. While some names in the story are from the real Bridget Hodgson’s life, the book is fiction, and a remarkable one at that.