The Midwife by Jolina Petersheim ~ A Contemporary Fiction Review and Giveaway

Jolina Petersheim
Contemporary Fiction/Mennonite

Back of the book:

THE PAST - Graduate student Beth Winslow was sure she was ready to navigate the challenges of becoming a surrogate. But when early tests indicate possible abnormalities with the baby, Beth is unprepared for the parents' decision to end the pregnancy--and for the fierce love she feels for this unborn child. Desperate, she flees the city and seeks refuge at Hopen Haus, a home for the unwed mothers deep in a Tennessee Mennonite community.

THE PRESENT - As head midwife of Hopen Hous, Rhoda Mummau delivers babies with a confident though stoic ease. Except in rare moments, not even those who work alongside her would guess that each newborn cry, each starry-eyed glance from mother to child, nearly renders a fault through Rhoda's heart, reminding her of a past she has carefully concealed.

Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives in the sweeping countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia's due date draws near, Rhoda must face her regrets and those she left begind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free.


My thoughts:

I read and enjoyed the author's debut novel The Outcast and I expected to enjoy this book just as much. To say that I enjoyed The Midwife would be a gross understatement. The story just blew me away. If I did not already know that this was only her second novel, I would have never guessed.

I had presupposed that this would be an interesting story about a Mennonite midwife. It was . . . but that was only the tip of the iceberg. The story begins with Beth Winslow. She is a grad student working on her thesis entitled "Solomon's Choice: Finding an Ethical Solution for Remorseful Surrogates". Little did Beth know that she would be living out her thesis. Not only does she become a surrogate, but when the biological parents decide to terminate the pregnancy she's faced with the ethical decision of abortion. 

We next venture into the world of Rhoda Mummau. Many years ago Rhoda converted to the Mennonite lifestyle and eventually became the head midwife at Hopen Hous. Rhoda is a very competent midwife but she has a past that is secret to all but a few and that past has left wounds that go very deep. 

Before long these two seemingly separate lives begin to intertwine and become one. Old wounds are opened and secrets are exposed. There is absolutely no way Beth or Rhoda can come away unscathed. But the interesting thing is that God has a way of exchanging beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning.

I can pretty much guarantee that you will not come away from this novel without lingering thoughts about the situation. You will surely ponder on what you would do in the situations that were presented. Let me leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the book that just continues to resonate with me.

". . . love is not about holding on to someone, but about allowing someone to grow and change and loving them through this never-ending metamorphosis of life that--in the process--sometimes changes us too."

Connect with the author:

The Giveaway:

Let’s be honest . . . a caffeine boost never hurts. For author Jolina Petersheim, it’s especially helpful to have her favorite drink on hand when she’s racing toward a manuscript deadline. In celebration of the release of her sophomore novel, The Midwife, Tyndale’s Crazy4Fiction team would love to enable your caffeine addiction and give you a taste of Jolina’s beautiful prose. For a chance at a $25 Starbucks gift card, an authentic Amish wall hanging, and your choice of Jolina’s novels (either The Outcast or The Midwife), enter through the Rafflecopter widget below.

To hear from Jolina on her go-to caffeine boost, stop by

What about you, readers? What drink of choice kick-starts your creativity and helps you keep moving?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful review; I appreciate your thoughtfulness and support so much! Blessings upon your sweet, sweet family! :)

    1. Jolina . . . we're honored that you stopped by! We love your work and look forward to reading many more stories from you.


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