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Publisher's Summary

Call the Midwife meets In the Middle of Nowhere in this heartwarming memoir of an adventurous Aussie midwife’s life ‘catching babies’.

Outback Midwife is the story of Beth McRae’s 40 years as a midwife, from her terrifying first day witnessing a birth as a naïve student nurse to her training as a midwife - the days when the words ‘birth plan’ were unheard of and what women wanted was a long way from being part of any plan - to the outback.

Beth’s career of catching babies takes her from the city to the bush, bonding with people from all walks of life at one of the most important moments in their lives. But there was one more frontier she was determined to conquer.

At a time when most people are thinking about slowing down, Beth decides to move to a remote Aboriginal community in Arnhem Land to embark on a whole other adventure.

©2015 Elizabeth McRae and Charlotte Ward (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"This book is outstanding." ( Goodreads)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Outback Midwife to be better than the print version?

Don't know as haven't read print version.

What did you like best about this story?

It's my kind of book. I love outback stories.

What about Caroline Lee’s performance did you like?

She speaks well & her emotional parts are good.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Made me both laugh & cry.

Any additional comments?

I thought the author Beth wrote well about her life, happy parts & sad alike.

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  • HF
  • 05-01-16

Job well done

What a moving story I found this book to be. Narrator was good but her attempts at other accents eg Scottish I found off putting at times. The book was written from the heart of the author who it appears has been a pioneer in trying to understand how giving birth, contraception etc in other cultures can vary from what she had been taught. Overall I feel Beth will have left the outback dwellers in a better understanding on how pregnancy, good diet etc leaves the mother healthier as well as her children.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Katie
  • 06-14-16

Not quite what I was expecting!

I was expecting a sort of Call the Midwife style tale, in a different setting, but it isn't like that, apart from the fact she's delivering babies! Beth doesn't even get to the outback until almost the end, so it's mainly set in hospitals, in towns. So although she is a midwife in the outback you have to wait a long time to get there.

The part when she's training at the beginning, with all her trials and tribulations in her private life as well, is interesting. Her account of her family life with her parents and sister was endearing at times. Later when she loses her own first baby it was heart ringing, you could hear her pain. She gets the listener to sympathise with her a lot and to see her frustrations later on when bureaucracy prevents improvements for patients.

When she does eventually arrive in the outback I found some of her observations sounded judgemental, although I'm sure this was unintentional. The latter part of the book wasn't always for the faint hearted and parts of it were disturbing. One thing that really came through, was how much Beth cared for her patients. A more well meaning midwife I don't think you could find. I think Beth has a good, genuine heart, without being a goodie two shoes, so this is apparent all the way through.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • 05-03-16

A valuable piece of midwifery history

Where does Outback Midwife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I really enjoyed the story, and will certainly listen to it again, so probably in my Top Ten.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Beth. She seems a compassionate midwife and a really nice person, one I would like to meet.

Did Caroline Lee do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

She narrates with passion and conviction and is certainly pleasant to listen to, but I found her attempts to reproduce Scottish accents lacked accuracy and pacing; to be honest, they generally made me giggle.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did both. The death of Beth's first baby was tragic, but there were many happy moments too.

Any additional comments?

If you are interested in midwifery, social history, health care or life in Australia in general, this will be of interest.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-05-16

A long haul!!

This book seemed to go on forever. was expecting something like an Australian version of call the midwife but was sadly disappointed. failed to engage with the characters and felt I was reviewing someone's CV

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Chrstine
  • 05-08-17

Heart warming

A wonderful book. Deepest incite into a devoted mother, daughter and nurse. Despite her own tragedies she continues to help people in remote communities. Obviously devoted to her career and to helping women in outback australia, despite the often harsh and uncomfortable conditions faced by health workers in remote outback clinics.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynnette Dyer
  • 12-31-16

Wonderful autobiography - enjoyed it immensely

You don't need to be interested in babies, or medicine to enjoy this read. Plenty of shades of Australia in every chapter. Beth had an interesting career and seemed a well-balanced patient woman who faced her own adversity. She and I are about the same age and I now understand better about childbirth in the 70s and how many things weren't of my making. Thank you for sharing with us Beth.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Christine Denniss
  • 10-14-15

Such a great book.

This is such a fantastic book to listen too. I even learnt something. Please read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer2
  • 01-28-17

Predictable.

I didn't get anywhere near finished because it was boring in my opinion. Routine Nurses stories.