by Katja Kettu (original title: Kätilö)
Translated from the Finnish by David Hackston
Published by AmazonCrossing, October 2016
From the publisher:
Orphaned into an unforgiving foster home and raised as an outsider, Weird-Eye shoulders her unflattering nickname. She relies on her vivid imagination to sustain her work as a midwife bringing newborns into the world while World War II overruns her native Finland, desecrating life. She finds herself drawn to the handsome, otherworldly Johannes Angelhurst, a war photographer working for the SS. To be near him, Weird-Eye—whom Johannes lovingly calls Wild-Eye—volunteers to serve as a nurse at the prison camp where he has been assigned.
From the brutality of the camps to the splendor of the aurora borealis above the Arctic Sea, The Midwife tells of a stormy romance, the desolate beauty of a protective fjord, and the deeply personal battles waged as World War II came to an end.
Praise for The Midwife:
“Kettu’s language is heartrending in the telling of this devastating story. At the same time, her beautiful, poetic images of the Arctic landscape make the cold splendor of the setting come to life.” – The Historical Novel Society
“[…] earthy and brutal, describing a period in time where survival is a result of stamina, circumstance and finding a place in the community and landscape […] the story of Weird Eye is unique and moving.” – Sarah Ward, Crimepieces
Review by Gordon Slater, Words Without Borders