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