Book Review: The Blue Cotton Gown

Patricia Harman’s Book, The Blue Cotton Gown immediately made me laugh.  Not long into it she also had me in tears.  I was drawn to review this book mostly by its simple title and that it was written by a midwife.  She was telling stories shared from her confessional or exam room, no doubt while her patients were wearing their blue gowns.  Having a midwife attend my second birth I felt I wanted to hear her journey.  While I expected to be pulled in, I didn’t expect the stories to be so incredibly rich, warm or personal.   Obviously her book was about the lives she helped along the way but it was a memoir as well.  Patsy immediately struck me as authentic, prior to reading her book we had a phone conversation.  A truly real gal. 

In The Blue Cotton Gown  you experience much more, you are told a story, and then you are told the thoughts rambling in Patsy’s mind in the midst of the story.  At times I completely laughed out loud.  Patsy chose several particular patients and their stories and wove them into a tapestry of time.  She mentions a favorite blue quilt in her home, to me its as if each story was a quilt square, hand sewn with love and care.  I felt like I was completely entrenched in these woman’s lives.  I wanted their babies to be well, the goofy men in their lives to get a clue, I wanted Patsy to triumph over her own personal turmoils.  I felt like I was part of it all.  I was especially touched by the tender relationship she has with her husband. Envious actually, she shared so intimately about the two of them, and that too made me cry. 

I admit the weekend I read this book was an especially emotional one for me, truth is I wasn’t in a very good place and I needed to cry.  The reading was a much needed distraction that  filled my heart.  I wrote to Patsy when I finished and said that her book was like a friend.  As woman we know how ridiculous our lives get to be, what I welcomed was the reminder of how truly courageous we all are.

I’d totally recommend The Blue Cotton Gown

flickr image credit

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3 Responses to Book Review: The Blue Cotton Gown

  1. Anna says:

    Sounds like an amazing book. I hope that the book made you feel like you are in a better place now. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Keep going forward my friend.

  2. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Oh Anna it DID help, sure appreciate your comment here!  Perhaps you know of folks who might appreciate Patsy’s wisdom and stories!

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