Book Review: "Lady in the Mist" by Laurie Alice Eakes

Summary from By virtue of her profession as a midwife, Tabitha Eckles is the keeper of many secrets: the names of fathers of illegitimate children, the level of love and harmony within many a marriage, and now the identity of a man who may have caused his wife's death. Dominick Cherrett is a man with his own secret to keep: namely, what he, a British nobleman, is doing on American soil working as a bondsman in the home of Mayor Kendall, a Southern gentleman with his eye on a higher office.

By chance one morning before the dawn has broken, Tabitha and Dominick cross paths on a misty beachhead, leading them on a twisted path through kidnappings, death threats, public disgrace, and . . . love? Can Tabitha trust Dominick? What might he be hiding? And can either of them find true love in a world that seems set against them?

As someone who grew up in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, it was awesome to see my hometown during early 1800s. I don't normally see this area used as a setting in many stories so to see it set in a historical era was really fun and enlightening. I also liked how Eakes uses the Eastern Shore as the central setting because I feel that it is a part of the state that is sorely neglected. Hopefully this book will entice others to want to learn more about the area.

The parts of the book that intrigued me the most were the sections on midwifery and the pressing of men into the British navy. I find midwives fascinating because as stated in the story, many come to this occupation through family connections and they were usually the town's only medical help. In most books that I've read, the midwives portrayed have been quite elderly so to see someone that is fairly young to be in this position is quite unusual. Tabitha's job wasn't easy and there's a good bit (though not as intensive as I would have liked) description of what her job entailed. A lot of secrecy and trust went into helping to birth a baby and it was quite interesting to see that most women had no idea what was happening during their time of birth.

Equally as fascinating is learning more about the tensions between Britain and the young American country at this time. The British navy is constantly on the lookout as they continue to "steal" men from the shore and take them into their Navy. The process of how it happened and then the aftermath for those taken and their loved ones left behind is quite heartbreaking.

While all the historical aspects of the book were very interesting, I found the romance to be slightly lacking. I didn't feel that Tabitha and Dominick's relationship was very believable. It seemed like they were both swept up in the drama of everything and it just all seemed too romance like to me. I was rather disappointed at the ending of the book. The conversion scene is just too convenient and I despise how a person becomes a Christian and then the relationship can immediately commence after that. I also didn't think Raleigh was treated very fair in the story. It wasn't his fault that he got pressed into the navy and then he couldn't get back home until now. Tabitha's anger at him felt slightly misplaced and I felt bad for him and what ended up happening to him.

Overall, it's an interesting read. There's romance and history so fans of historical romances will enjoy this read. This is the first book in the Midwives series so I am looking forward to continue the adventure of learning more about them.

Lady in the Mist by Laurie Alice Eakes is published by Revell (2011)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


  1. Well I am definitely interested in reading about midwives in the historical sense. :)


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