I come from a long line of midwives. I was expected to follow Mama, follow Granny, follow Great-granny. In the end, I didn't disappoint them. Or perhaps I did. After all, there were no more midwives after me.' For generations, the women in Elizabeth's family have brought life to their community, heeding a destiny to tend its women with herbs, experience, and wisdom. All the births and dates are recorded in tall black ledgers kept by Elizabeth's mother, but there is also a smaller, red ledger. Elizabeth does not always feel comfortable with her fate as a midwife and when she discovers the true purpose of the red book, she is shocked and disturbed by the contents. As Elizabeth loses faith in her vocation, she also loses her heart, to the one man who will never return her love, even when she moves into his home to share his bed and raise his child. She finds solace in mothering Lauren, but Elizabeth, who has brought so many lives into the world, must also come to terms with the fact that she herself is barren.
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(198mm x 126mm x mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
For the women in Elizabeth's family, midwifery has been a way of life for generations, with each birth carefully recorded in black ledgers. For Elizabeth it is a tradition she has happily pursued, accompanying her mother on regular birthings in the small town of Kettle Creek, at the foot of Denniker's Mountain, all the while admiring its owner, Alvin Denniker, from afar. But Elizabeth soon starts to question her vocation when she discovers the purpose of a secret red ledger and turns away from her predestined role in life. When Alvin Denniker's wife dies, Elizabeth swiftly takes her place in his bed, as she sets off up the mountain to look after him and his daughter. But midwifery is in Elizabeth's blood and she finds herself increasingly drawn back to it, while she determinedly loves Alvin, knowing he will never reciprocate her feelings. But there is something more that Elizabeth has to face, the tragic irony that she herself will never give birth. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Gretchen Moran Laskas
Gretchen Moran Laskas is an eighth-generation West Virginian and lives in Virginia with her husband and son.