Monday, November 28, 2016

Amish Midwife by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould


Description:  A dusty carved box containing two locks of hair and a century-old letter regarding property in Switzerland, and a burning desire to learn about her biological family lead nurse-midwife Lexie Jaeger from her home in Oregon to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country.  There she meets Marta Bayer, a mysterious lay-midwife who desperately needs hep after an Amish client and her baby die.

Lexie steps in to assume Marta's patient load even as she continues the search for her birth family, and from her patients she learns the true meaning of the Pennsylvania Dutch word Demut which means 'to let be' as she changes from a woman who wants to control everything to a woman who depends on God.

A compelling story about a search for identity and the ability to trust that God securely holds our whole life-past, present, and future.

My Thoughts:  Alexandra 'Lexie' is a nursing mid-wife in Oregon when she gets the dreaded phone call at work.  Her father, who has cancer, doesn't have long for this world.  She takes a leave of absence and rushes to his side.  On his death bed, he tells her about a box in the closet for her, one he never opened but one that might bring her closer to finding her birth parents.  After his death, she looks into the box that has a letter about property in Switzerland, 2 swatches of hair and not much else.  Her dear friend Sophie makes some enquiries, and finds that a mid-wife in Pennsylvania needs some help and it might do Lexie good to take a break and to also look for her birth parents.

When she arrives at Marta's house, against Marta's wishes, things go awry.  No one wants to giver her information about her birth, and no one wants her help.  Marta is going through some legal battles at the moment and when pushed against the wall, realizes she needs Lexie's help with her Amish patients and the babies soon to come.

Along the way, Lexie meets a doctor who she starts having meals with, even though she left her fiance James back in Oregon, telling him they were on a break.  She also pokes her nose into everyone's business to get the information she is seeking.  She won't take no for an answer, even though the Amish prefer to leave the past in the past and not discuss it.

Things eventually come to a head, with the heal of someone close to Lexie and all is revealed.  however, it isn't quite what Lexie was looking for.  She needs to look to God for the peace and comfort of the answers she's given.  I liked most of the characters in this novel, and I found it interesting to see how different Amish settlements lived.  I did not care for Lexie.  While I felt for her plight, she didn't care if she hurt people in her path to her goals.  She was actually a pretty flat character except when she was angry.  Then she became a full dimensional person who had some life and fire in her.

I look forward to reading the next installment in the Lancaster series.  I thought the settings were great and would love to delve into some of the secondary characters' lives.  I just hope Lexie is better behaved if she makes any cameo appearances.  All in all, a great story if you love reading about the Amish, prefer your fiction clean and a mystery that keeps you turning the pages long into the night.

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