Call the Midwife: a True Story of the East End in the 1950s – Jennifer Worth
This is the first of a trilogy about the author’s work in post-WWII London as a midwife, and inspired the PBS series. Like the characters in the series, Worth left a comfortable home to live in a convent and minister to London’s slums.
Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 – Laurel Ulrich
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History, this fascinating book is based on the diaries of a midwife and healer in 18th century Maine.
Murder on Astor Place - Victoria Thompson
First in a strong historical mystery series set in early 20th century New York, this midwife's work with a rich family brings her into contact with murder and then to try to solve the crime.
Midwife of the Blue Ridge – Christine Blevins
I was attracted to this book because the heroine, trained as a midwife after her family is killed, travels from Scotland to Virginia in 1763 where she becomes an indentured servant
Midwives - Chris Bohjalian
This is probably the best known book on my list because it was an early Oprah pick. A Vermont midwife tries desperately to save a baby’s life and is condemned when the mother dies.
My Name is Mary Sutter – Robin Oliveira
I had heard good things about this and chose it for my Book Group last year. It was well researched but very very dark; reminded me of Louisa May Alcott’s service at a Washington, DC hospital during the Civil War, from which her health never fully recovered.
Mountain Midwife – Cassie Miles
I chose this because it’s funny and quite a contrast to the others: in this contemporary romance, Rachel is kidnapped, blindfolded and driven to the Rocky Mountains to deliver a baby. She is determined to save the baby, with the help of one of the alleged kidnappers.
Midwife of Venice – Roberta Rich
Another Hannah (!), a Jewish midwife in 16th century Venice, asked to attend a Christian in childbirth, although is it illegal for Jews to render medical treatment to Christians, and is punishable by torture and death if she is caught.
The Red Tent – Anita Diamant
I must admit I never got past the first chapter of this book, but so many of my friends loved this Old Testament of Jacob’s daughter (a midwife) that I included it.
Hannah: Mormon Midwife – Jaroldeen Edwards
Hannah is a midwife in 1870s Utah who is committed to serve women through safe and humane medical practices. Not surprisingly this results in enemies and threatens her chance for True Love. I met Jaroldeen at a Romantic Times convention years ago and am sorry to read that she died in 2008, although believe she had a very blessed life.
The Midwife’s Apprentice - Karen Cushman
Cushman won the Newbery Award for this 1996 story about orphan/homeless Alyce who becomes the apprentice to a hot-tempered apprentice in medieval England.--- And did anyone else remember Jenny Agutter, playing a nun in Call the Midwife, from a long ago production (and, apparently, a more recent remake) of The Railway Children?