I like books that take place in 1800s, especially if the setting is the Midwest, particularly Colorado. For this reason, I am especially fond of books by Denver author Sandra Dallas, whose books often take place somewhere in Colorado.
The Last Midwife, by Sandra Dallas, takes place in a fictional town in Summit County, Colorado, in 1880. Since my mom and dad lived in Summit County before they retired, I have a special interest in that area.
Gracy Brookens has served her small mining town located high in the Colorado Rockies for many years. She would like to quit, but the women of the town rely on her for her expertise. Not only has she delivered nearly every baby in the town for years, she also served as the only person in the county with any kind of medical background.
While Gracy has many friends, she also has enemies, including the medical doctor who finally came to serve the community. Still, she continues to be the person upon whom the women rely. That is, until a baby she delivers — the child of a powerful man in the community — dies sometime after Gracy leaves who she believes is a healthy child. What’s more, she is accused of murdering the baby.
While many people know that she is innocent, Gracy has her share of enemies as well. After all, a midwife learns lots of secrets while being with pregnant women in labor.
I really like Sandra Dallas’ novels, and this was no exception. Having said that, some of it seemed a bit unrealistic and forced. The ending — coming literally in the final sentence of the book — came as a surprise. I like surprises.
Overall, I recommend this book to fans of the author and fans of stories about midwifery.