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Cover image for A place called Trinity
A place called Trinity
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
488 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
In 1833, widowed midwife and mother Martha Cade returns home to Trinity, Pennsylvania after a fruitless search for her runaway daughter.


Call Number
LP Parr, D.

On Order



When her daughter runs away, Martha Cade's life is shattered. She is a midwife in the small Pennsylvania town called Trinity and must learn to draw on her faith to stop a town scandal, mend relationships, and find her daughter.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Faint echoes of Jan Karon's Mitford novels and Chris Bohjalian's Midwives surface in this treacly kickoff novel in Parr's projected new series. In 1830, midwife Martha Cade discovers that her 17-year-old daughter, Victoria, has run away from their home in Trinity, Pa., with a traveling theater troupe. After three months of fruitless searching, Martha returns to Trinity to resume her midwifery duties and face the town gossip. In her absence, a young doctor has set up a rival practice and a minister and his wife have established a school for orphan street boys from New York, thereby encountering local prejudice. A bitter conflict develops between some townspeople and a mayor who may or may not have romantic feelings for the widowed Martha. Martha views her midwifery as a Christian calling, focuses on the sisterhood of the birth process, and believes in giving oneself over to God's wisdom while maintaining faith no matter the circumstances. But the recitation of a plethora of characters' birth stories produces an effect something akin to the viewing of other people's vacation slides, particularly when none of the laboring mothers plays a crucial part in the story itself. Furthermore, Martha is prone to dishing the kind of gossip she despises from others, and she displays an incredible ability to perform heroic obstetrics and solve everyone else's problems while not doing much to locate the missing Victoria. While Martha's difficult choice between doing God's work and being a mother may resonate with some readers, flat writing and a lack of tension weigh down a narrative in which there's never any doubt that good will ultimately triumph and faith will be rewarded. (Feb. 26) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

Well-meaning but meandering story of a 19th-century midwife. Martha Cade has delivered many babies into the world, but she's worried that folks might turn to the new doctor who's just arrived in the little Pennsylvania town of Trinity. And she's worried about her wayward daughter Victoria, who ran away with a traveling theater troupe. Martha had cherished the hope that Victoria would follow in her footsteps and become a midwife, too. But Martha soldiers on, strengthened by her faith in God, family, and community. The warmhearted midwife is kindness personified, sharing her homespun wisdom with one and all, and riding for miles to tend her patients. As life goes on, Martha is pleased to see that her former beau Thomas Dillon is nearly untouched by the passing years. His hair is as black and thick as ever, and he's still a strapping, sexy man who catches every woman's eye. Now a widower and also mayor of Trinity, he's oh-so-eligible. But Martha, like her biblical namesake, has lots of work to do and little time for romantic foolishness. She adopts a wounded bird and names it Bird. She takes in a homeless boy and names him Boy. Life goes on. There's always something happening, even in a little town like Trinity. Why, pranksters have somehow put the doctor's carriage up on a roof! Looks like the naughty boys at the Hampton Academy are up to their tricks again. Can't the Reverend Hampton control those young snippersnappers? And his Academy isn't what it seems. When Martha finds out that the reverend, a former prison chaplain, is actually teaching the boys to steal, he and his charges escape on rafts. Then Thomas takes Martha to his bosom once more. And wayward daughter Victoria even comes home. Awkwardly written, full of pious speechifying and annoying folksiness.

Booklist Review

The latest novel by Parr, author of several popular historical romance novels, represents a new artistic stretch and will surely please her fans. By focusing more on her character's spirituality and internal lives, Parr shows more thoughtfulness than one normally finds in a typical romance novel. The first volume in a planned series, this novel is set in the early 1800s and follows the adventures of midwife and widow, Martha Cade. Martha has just returned to Trinity, Pennsylvania; gone for only three months, Martha is surprised to find how much has changed in her absence. The old community meetinghouse has been moved to make way for a new church; a feud between old friends has escalated; and, worst of all, a new doctor has moved to town and has become a potent threat to Martha's midwifery practice. Parr has done her historical research, which makes for an interesting and enjoyable story that romance fans and readers of historical women's fiction will appreciate. --Kathleen Hughes