Way back before I had children I worked a little bit as a doula. Because of that I got to know a few midwives and went to about 6 or 7 births. I haven’t done a lot with birth since then other than having three of my own children. This book, The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth took me right back to those days.
The Secrets of Midwives is about three generations of midwives and the secrets that they have. Neva is keeping the details surrounding her pregnancy secret. Grace, her mother is not okay with not knowing who the baby’s father is. Floss, Grace’s mother and Neva’s grandmother has a secret of her own.
This book has great characters, a great story that keeps you wondering what is going to happen next and a touch of Call the Midwife feel to it as part of the story takes us back 60 years to England. I loved reading about life as a midwife and doing so brought me right back to my own births as well as the ones I attended when I was a doula.
Sally Hepworth lives in Australia with her husband and her two children. She also wrote The Things We Keep as well as The Mother’s Promise: A Novel that comes out in February. I will be adding her other books to my to be read list.
Have you read The Secrets of Midwives or anything by Sally Hepworth?
Really Good WWII Historical Fiction to Add to Your Reading List
There is something about WWII Historical Fiction that draws me in. There are so many books to choose from and each one gives us a slice of life during that time. Some of these books are harder to read than others and some will have you in tears wondering how all of what you read could have really happened. When we read World War 2 historical fiction we find ourselves connecting to the characters, wondering what we would do if we were in their shoes and showing compassion for any of the pain they have felt because of what they went through.
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Here are some really good WWII historical fiction books to add to your reading list:
1. The Nightingale– This book by Kristin Hannah will take you to France, Paris and the French Countryside during the war. The story is about two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle and what they go through during those years. Their relationship and what they had to do to survive during these times.
2. Lilac Girls– This book is the first by Martha Hall Kelly. The book takes you through the point of view of three women during the war and the aftermath. Caroline Ferriday is a New York socialite, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager and Herta Oberheuser, a young German doctor. As the story progresses, all three stories intertwined once Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the Nazi concentration camp for women.
3. Secrets of a Charmed Life– This book by Susan Meissner takes you to England during the Blitz. The story goes back and forth between Kendra Van Zant, an American student in modern day England and fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree in the early 1940s England. The story is about the choices that Emmy makes and the relationship with her younger sister Julia.
4. All the Light We Cannot See– Anthony Doerr wrote this one and I will warn you that it will take some time to get into the book. It is the story of Marie-Laure, a blind girl living in France and the orphan Werner, living in a mining town in Germany. The story spans the years leading up to the war as well as the time during the war itself.
5. Sarah’s Key- Written by Tatiana de Rosnay, Sarah’s Key is probably the saddest WWII Historical Fiction book you will read. The story goes back and forth between Sarah, a 10-year-old French-born Jewish girl, and Julia, an American married to a French man living in modern day Paris. In July 1942, Sarah is arrested by the French police along with her mother and father as a part of the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup. But to save her brother she locks him in a hidden cupboard assuming they will be able to come back for him soon after. The story takes us through Sarah’s journey as well as Julia’s as she learns about what happened in Sarah’s apartment.
Have you read any of these books? What WWII historical fiction books have you read?