St. Martin's, Apr 2003, 24.95, 320 pp.
In 1831 Trinity, Pennsylvania, a tired and saddened midwife, Martha Cade, returns home after handling the premature birthing of a stillborn. Still, she looks forward to tomorrow when her seventeen-year-old daughter Victoria returns home after running away six months ago. To her joyous surprise, Martha finds Victoria and another woman waiting for her.
After the hugs and introductions, Victoria informs her mom that she will be going back to New York with June Morgan. Martha loses her temper and insists that her daughter stay home, but Victoria says she has a position with June and her husband. Later that night, June explains that Victoria works on the Morgan women's magazine as well as writes poetry. As Martha struggles with what is best for her family a visiting midwife gives her advice that will prevent her from alienating her daughter forever. Martha finds it easier to give advice than to accept it.
This family drama is an engaging historical tale that enables the audience to observe how people lived in the Keystone State in the early 1830s. Martha is an intriguing personality as she fails to follow the advice she gives others when it comes to her beloved daughter. The rest of the cast enables the reader to better understand the heroine and or the era. Though lacking heavy action, readers who appreciate a rich Americana novel will gain much pleasure on this visit (or any of the previous trips) to Trinity.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner