I always imagined West Virginia with people sitting on their porches with their morning coffee enjoying the mountain vistas, but the history hasn't been quite as cozy. With labor intensive industries such as coal mining and timber along with installing a railroad, many people struggled to survive. The Midwife of Hope River by Patricia Harman takes place during The Great Depression which hit when money and supplies were already scarce for poor families of the area trying to survive.
"To be a midwife was never my goal. As a girl, I imagined myself an explorer in the Amazon or maybe an around-the-world traveler and journalist like Nellie Bly, yet here I am, a thirty-six-year-old widow, wanted by the law in two states, living alone in the mountains of West Virginia, too old and too obstinate for courting."
I am always attracted to books where the main character is faced with many obstacles and yet overcomes them with tenacity and Paience is one of those characters, taking care of women during child birth and earning little or no money and often the same amount of thanks. I picked this book up from the library solely because of it's location (I'm still working on my 50 state reading challenge) and I'm glad I did.