The story is told through Margaret's eyes as a teenager living in the South during World War II. Her grandmother is known all around for being a midwife and healer. Both Margaret and her mom Sophia go along with Charlie Kate on house calls and help take care of the sick. I loved the relationship between these three smart, strong women. They stick together, they watch out for each other, and they take care of everyone. This book has some really sad moments, but overall you feel good reading it.
Here are some quotes (mostly wisdom from the grandmother) that I really liked.
“What is most fascinating with regard to her dentistry is that she would put women patients under, but work on the men as is. She believed that although women, as a rule, could stand more pain and take more punishment than men, they should not have to and would not ever suffer under her care….The degree to which a woman looked tired in the face dictated the amount of chloroform she received, and sometimes when my grandmother recognized that a woman was too taxed by her life, she did her the favor of knocking her out to the point that she couldn’t neither lift her head nor say her name the rest of the day. She said, 'Some of these women, if they didn’t have me work on their mouths, they’d never have gotten off their feet.'"
“She told me once, with great assurance, ‘I have read two books a week for thirty years. I am satisfied that I know everything.'”“My grief had been plain and unpoetic, and the hole in my heart would’ve grown wide enough and deep enough to consume me had my mother and grandmother not kept me with them, and still.”
“In our house, the point of reading and learning was neither to impress outsiders nor to get a job or a husband, nothing like that. It had nothing to do with anybody but the three of us. When a good book was in the house, the place fairly vibrated. We trained ourselves to be exceptionally fast readers so a book could be traded around before the nagging and tugging became intolerable……We shared a curiosity about the world that couldn’t be satisfied in any other way.”
“My grandmother said, “When a marriage goes sour, two things start to happen. You can’t look at the other person chew and so you stare at your plate all through dinner, and you can’t sleep at night for harboring thoughts of how the one laying beside you spoiled something you wanted. Things go downhill fast when you can’t eat and sleep together, which are what married people are supposed to enjoy doing the most.”
Don't you love those? I really loved these three women, and I think you'll like this book!