A Midwife Crisis
Americana romances seem to be making somewhat of a comeback in the mainstream romance world, and I couldn’t be happier. As with any style, I wouldn’t want to read all-Americana, all the time, but I do find them sweet and heartwarming when done well. A Midwife Crisis has a few issues, but those who enjoy a cutesy story will find this an enjoyable read.
Katie Napier is approaching thirty but doesn’t seem concerned about her lack of a husband. On the contrary, the demands of caring for her father and grandparents, as well as acting as midwife and healer for most of her rural West Virginia community keep her quite busy. It’s obvious from the very beginning that Katie Napier has the patience of a saint. Most people would have told her shiftless relatives to get a life and stop taking her for granted, but Katie deals with them rather gracefully.
Even Katie’s good-humored tolerance shows some strain when the family decides Katie needs to get married so that she can have children. However, each family member has a different suitor in mind. These fine specimens of manhood range from her grandfather’s buddy to the local lothario, who wows the women with his gorgeous dimples. Katie is at wit’s end with three men courting her and into this mess steps Dr. John Keffer.
John is a widower and a very wealthy doctor from New York. He once visited this part of West Virginia and he moved to the area with his young daughter seeking to escape sad memories. Not surprisingly, the locals are a little suspicious of the doctor and continue to take their medical issues to Katie. However, the doctor comes up with a clever ploy that not only helps him win the trust of the locals, but also puts him in close proximity with Katie, who he finds himself liking more and more.
As you can probably tell from the plot description, this book is definitely a cutesy country romp. And it’s a fun one. The main couple would have benefited from a little more emotional depth, but they do have believable chemistry and, despite the huge differences in their backgrounds, they truly do seem good for each other. Likewise, the capers surrounding Katie’s many suitors and her frustrating family made me smile at their best moments and occasionally made me roll my eyes when they went a bit too far. The book has its silly moments and some of the scenes involving the local pastor are rather corny, but overall the author’s tone and the story she tells mesh well and I enjoyed reading it.
The main thing that bugged me was the hero’s backstory. I could fully understand why John would want to leave New York after losing his wife. However, his ties to West Virginia never seemed quite real enough. Mention is made of his having visited there in the past, but the author does little with this. Since much of the cast in the small town is older, one would expect them to remember John’s boyhood visits or perhaps mention the person he visited, but these references are conspicuously absent. As a result, John at times feels artificially planted in Katie’s world, a problem that could have been avoided with better development of his backstory.
Even so, I found A Midwife Crisis a fun, if sometimes silly read. Most readers cannot subsist on a steady diet of angst and drama, and this book is worth considering when you need to reach for something lighter. It has its flaws, but it has qualities to recommend it as well.