The Midwife's Tale by Gretchen Moran Laskas

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“I come from a long line of midwives,” narrates Elizabeth Whitely. “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 Kettle Valley, West Virginia, heeding a destiny to tend its women with herbals, experience, and wisdom. But Elizabeth, who has comforted so many, has lost her heart to the one man who cannot reciprocate, even when she moves into his home to share his bed and raise his child.

Then Lauren Denniker, Elizabeth’s adopted daughter, begins to display a miraculous gift--just as Elizabeth learns that she herself is unable to have a child. How Elizabeth comes to free herself from a loveless relationship, grapple with Lauren’s astonishing abilities, and come to terms with her own emptiness is the compelling heart of this remarkable tale. Incorporating the spirited mountain mythology of prewar Appalachia, Gretchen Laskas has crafted a story as true to our time as its own, and a cast of characters as poignant as they are entirely original.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Gretchen Moran Laskas

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Gretchen Moran Laskas is an eighth-generation West Virginian. She now lives in Virginia with her husband and son.From the Hardcover edition.
Published December 10, 2008 by Delta. 258 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Midwife's Tale

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Evocative storytelling, though the atmosphere of strong backwoods women eventually becomes as suffocating as a henhouse in July.

Apr 08 2003 | Read Full Review of The Midwife's Tale

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Alvin and Elizabeth manage to keep Lauren’s powers secret for a while, but when the girl cures a dying baby, her fame spreads, and to keep his daughter from being turned into a circus freak, Alvin moves to California with her, leaving Elizabeth behind.

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Before she dies, her grandmother teaches Elizabeth the arts of herbs, and after a year, Elizabeth returns to her mother's house.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Midwife's Tale

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