Monday, February 1, 2016

The Mountain Midwife, by Laurie Alice Eakes

Ashley Tolliver is a third generation midwife living and working in the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia. She is devoted to her work and to her clients, but is also feeling a pull to leave her small hometown to go to medical school. When a mysterious couple arrives at her door late one night, she finds herself unexpectedly delivering a baby only to have the driver, baby, and mother (who is dangerously bleeding) vanish out into the night without a trace.

Hunter McDermott is a successful engineer from the DC area who is begrudgingly experiencing his fifteen minutes of fame after rescuing a young girl.  He returns home after working overseas hoping to rest and catch his breath for awhile.  Instead he finds a cryptic phone message from someone claiming to be his birth mother. After confronting his parents, he learns that he was in fact adopted, and goes on a quest to research this new-found piece of his personal history.  His journey brings him to the mountains of southwestern Virginia, where he crosses paths with Ashley Tolliver.

Eakes tells an interesting and fast-moving story here.  The mystery of the young missing mother, and Hunter's personal quest to find his parents are intertwined as Ashley and Hunter meet and forge a tentative relationship. There are plenty of twists and turns that kept me turning the pages, and the characters are well-developed.  The mountains and landscape of the area are described beautifully, and almost serve as a character in their own right.

Unfortunately I did have a few gripes that kept me from giving the book a higher rating. There were some confusing plot lines and continuity issues, and the ending was extremely abrupt, leaving many secondary stories completely unresolved.  It is a shame too, because Eakes is a great writer, and I enjoyed her overall descriptive style.

This is the first book I've read by this author, and little quibbles aside, I would definitely give another of her books a try.

I received this book for free from the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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