Wednesday, December 6, 2023

The Midwife's Promise by Eliza Graham


 New England, 1992. Sophie’s hand trembles as she places the birthday card on to the creamy wood of her dresser – this one postmarked from far away, and signed with a name she’s never forgotten, despite their years apart. Downstairs, guests wait around a colourful pile of gifts – Happy 90th Birthday, Sophie! But Sophie has a gift of her own to give today – a tattered collection of photographs she’s never shown anybody. Holding it to her heart, a single tear slides down her wrinkled cheek.

France, 1944. Sophie is folding Camille into her arms, kissing her daughter’s hair. She’s smiling through tears at the plaintive cries of a tiny, perfect newborn baby – her first grandchild. As a midwife, she’s helped so many take their first breath, but this is special. In the street outside, Nazi soldiers patrol day and night, and each week more people disappear. Sophie clenches her fist and vows she’ll do anything to save Camille and her baby from that fate.

But when evil has stolen everything you know, even the truest promises are tested. Sophie swore she’d give her life for her family. How could everything have gone so terribly, heartbreakingly wrong?

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About The Author


 

Eliza Graham's novels have been long-listed for the UK's Richard & Judy Summer Book Club in the UK, and short-listed for World Book Day's 'Hidden Gem' competition. She has also been nominated for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.

Her books have been bestsellers both in Europe and the US.

She is fascinated by the world of the 1930s and 1940s: the Second World War and its immediate aftermath and the trickle-down effect on future generations. Consequently she's made trips to visit bunkers in Brittany, decoy harbours in Cornwall, wartime radio studios in Bedfordshire and cemeteries in Szczecin, Poland. And those are the less obscure research trips.

It was probably inevitable that Eliza would pursue a life of writing. She spent biology lessons reading Jean Plaidy novels behind the textbooks, sitting at the back of the classroom. In English and history lessons she sat right at the front, hanging on to every word. At home she read books while getting dressed and cleaning her teeth. During school holidays she visited the public library multiple times a day.

At Oxford University she studied English Literature, which didn't teach her much about writing a modern novel, but expanded her knowledge of the literary canon and how people have used books and words to communicate with one another since Saxon times.

She has worked as a 'Saturday' girl in Marks & Spencer, an entrance-hall cleaner, a trainee banker and as a PR consultant and business writer, covering subjects from long-tail insurance risks to jumbo factory loo rolls.

Eliza lives in an ancient village in the Oxfordshire countryside with her family. Not far from her house there is a large perforated sarsen stone that can apparently summon King Alfred if you blow into it correctly. Eliza has never managed to summon him. Her interests still mainly revolve around reading, but she also enjoys walking in the downland country around her home and travelling around the world to research her novels.

Find out more about Eliza on her website: www.elizagrahamauthor.com. You can also follow her on Twitter: @Eliza_Graham.

 

My Review


This read was full of emotions, yes, we all know about the evil the perpetrated Europe in the 1930's and 40's, but through the author's words we put faces on these people. This story takes place in France and we meet those that put their lives on the line to help thwart the enemy and help those who are hated.
Sophie is a midwife and more, and she gives all she has to help those in need. When a message comes that her daughter needs her, she goes with great danger to her. In the end it was a good thing she did.
Loved how we as humans tend to judge people, and like others Sophie ended up being wrong about what she thought about some people, but she was so right about others. She held on to secrets for over 50 years, and we are there when Paul gets what he never knew he was missing.
Keep the tissues handy this one will grip your heart!
I received this book through Net Galley and Storm Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review. 

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