Thank you to the author and publisher for the copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.
Lucie Smith is a respected midwife whose husband, Jacob, is the town apothecary. Their bond and happiness is tested in 1665 with Lucie’s involvement with the local Manor House, the return of their only surviving son from plague-ridden London, a housemaid’s pregnancy out of wedlock, and an allegation of malpractice against Lucie.
I’m a mother of two but a rather squeamish one, so I’ve spent the last few days being laughed at for my facial expressions and squeals at some of the more graphic descriptions. Some of the details were stomach churning but it was a part of everyday life in the 1600’s, unlike the sterile delivery rooms or operating theatres available today.
I was drawn in to the historical details and old practises involve in childbirth and i’m in awe of how the author’s knowledge and research make me feel like I was in the bed chambers with Mistress Smith. I enjoyed the way real historical events were part of the narrative, such as the Black Plague, and I read about the social distancing measures of the time with a sense of irony given the current world situation.
I thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience of this book and would recommend it to readers who enjoy detailed historical fiction or who are curious about childbirth in the 1600’s.