The Secrets of Midwives

St. Martin's. Feb. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781250051899. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466852631. F
Secrets new and old create drama for a family with three generations of midwives. Grace, a second-generation midwife, can't stand secrets—perhaps because unbeknownst to her, one has been haunting her for her entire life. The woman guarding that information is her mother, Floss, also a midwife and now retired. And then there's Grace's daughter, Neva, who has secrets of her own. She is pregnant and although she's getting past the point of being able to hide it, she's determined not to disclose the father's identity. The mystery surrounding Neva's pregnancy prompts Floss to revisit the past and start to consider coming clean. Meanwhile, unforeseen circumstances cause Grace to try her hand at deception. In a family with a talent for concealment as well as midwifery, could it turn out that the truth is as welcome as a newborn?
VERDICT Australian Hepworth's debut is deftly told with some historical elements mixed in. This thoughtful intergenerational story will delight readers—especially those who enjoy works exploring the topic of midwifery as in Chris Bohjalian's Midwives and the BBC series Call the Midwife. [See Prepub Alert, 8/18/14.]
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