Midwife of the Blue Ridge
This novel begins just after the battle at Culloden Moor in 1746, when young Maggie Duncan joins the Cameron household, having just lost her entire family. Raised by Hannah, a skilled herbalist and midwife, Maggie grows up in the village of the Black Corries, learning the trade of her foster mother. When Hannah dies sixteen years later, Maggie leaves the village, having never earned the full trust of many of her neighbors.
After two years of barely scraping by in Glasgow, Maggie decides to take a chance on her future by sailing to Virginia as an indentured servant. Aboard The Good Intent, Maggie makes many friends, and one dangerous enemy. Once her contract is purchased, Maggie’s adventure begins. She is good-humored and isn’t afraid of hard work. She faces uncertainty and danger with a cool head. These qualities and more attract the attention of Tom Roberts, a hunter and fur trader, whose years of living in the frontier of Kenta-ke seem doomed.
I enjoyed the pace of the narrative and the interactions between the varied characters. This novel is full of action, passion and period detail. I especially enjoyed the use of Scottish and backwoods vocabulary. I would say that Blevins has done a good deal of research into daily life in frontier America, particularly as pertains to those who lived in and around forts.