Book Reviews

Book Review: The Mountain Midwife

The Mountain Midwife

For nearly two hundred years, women in Ashley Tolliver’s family have practiced the art of midwifery in their mountain community. Now she wants to take her skills a step further, but attending medical school means abandoning those women to whom she has dedicated her life, the mountains she loves, and the awakening of her heart.

Ashley Tolliver has tended to the women of her small Appalachian community for years. As their midwife, she thinks she has seen it all. Until a young woman gives birth to a baby at Ashley’s home and is abducted just as she tries to take the dangerously bleeding woman her to the nearest hospital. Now Ashley is on a mission to find the woman and her newborn baby . . . before it’s too late.

Hunter McDermott is on a quest—to track down his birth mother. After receiving more media attention than he could ever want for being in the right place at the right time, he receives a mysterious phone call from a woman claiming to be his mother. Hunter seeks out the aid of the local midwife in the mountain town where the phone call originated—surely she can shed some light on his own family background.

Ashley isn’t prepared for the way Hunter’s entrance into her world affects her heart and her future. He reignites dreams of her own family she has long put aside in favor earning her medical degree and being able to do even more for her community. But is it commitment to her calling or fear of the unknown that keeps her feet firmly planted in the Appalachian soil? Or is it something more—fear of her growing feelings for Hunter—that make her hesitant to explore the world beyond the mountains?


Ashley’s the fourth generation midwife in her family. She might live in the back woods, but education is important to her.  She secretly harbors dreams of becoming a doctor. This is one dream keeps her going day after day. She loves her patients and the community she grew up in, but believes that as a doctor she could be so much more effective. She’s mentally marking the days off on her calendar until she can leave for medical school.

In her heart, she struggles with a sense of bitterness over being left behind by her family. Her brothers went to medical school and never returned to their small community. Her parents left on an extended missions trip, leaving her to handle the clinic and women’s needs. It’s as if nobody in her family ever asked her what she wanted to do.

Just when her dream of medical school seems to be coming to fruition God begins to open other doors in her life. She meets Hunter and his quiet ways and simple reasoning begins to make her question if her plans are her own or God’s.

I felt Ashley’s struggle. She desires to please everyone around her. She wants to ensure that they are happy and well cared for in many ways she takes this responsibility on herself. She unwittingly places herself in a position only God can hold, bringing about a painful lesson.

Laurie Alice Eakes knocks it out of the park with this foray into contemporary fiction. I hope this is just the first of a whole new line of books by her set in this era. I love her historical books, but after reading this contemporary I believe she could write any genre and it would be amazing.


About the Author

After enough moves in the past five years to make U-Haul’s stock rise, she now lives in Houston, Texas, where she and Laurie Alice Eakesher husband are exploring their new neighborhood. Although they haven’t been blessed with children—yet–they have sundry lovable dogs and cats. If the carpet is relatively free of animal fur, then she is either frustrated with the current manuscript, or brainstorming another, the only two times she genuinely enjoys housework.

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