Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

A Kiss for Midwinter

Thursday, November 30, 2023

A Kiss for Midwinter (2012) Courtney Milan (Brothers Sinister)

A Kiss for MidwinterSet in England in 1864

Jonas Grantham worked hard to rise above his beginnings and to become a doctor.

He’d been seduced by the stories—the stories of John Snow saving hundreds of lives by careful observation, of men who noticed the world around them and cared and thought, men who set aside irrationality in favor of cures supported by statistical research.

Before leavings for medical school Jonas followed to town doctor on his rounds to gain experience and because the doctor promised Jonas his practice when he retired.

Lydia was 15 when she was seduced by a man who swore he would marry her. She was 15 when she became pregnant and didn’t understand what was happening. The doctor’s advice was criminal, but Jonas didn’t know enough to speak up.

“But, Doctor,” the father repeated, “what is to be done with my daughter? She is…she is only fifteen.”

Parwine looked the girl up and down. “What do you think?” he finally said, in his quiet, gentle voice. “Treat her with Christian kindness. Now that you know what she is, quietly put her away.”

Sometimes when I’m in a reading rut, novellas are helpeful, because they aren’t a huge commitment, and the good ones are tightly written giving you the store in half (or fewer) of the pages of a novel.

This story does so much in so very few pages.

I adore Lydia’s father, who has a tremendous presence in just a few appearances.

One of Lydia’s first memories was playing on the floor of her father’s study. Her nurse had darted in, grabbing her up with a flood of apologies and a scold for Lydia.

“Can’t you see your father’s busy?” she’d remonstrated.

But her father had simply shrugged. “If you take her away every time I’m busy,” he’d said placidly, “I’ll never see her. She can stay.”

But it also bluntly shows you what like was life for women in the Victorian Era (and before).

“The stuff that babes are made of comes from your own body, Mrs. Hall.” He straightened and put away his stethoscope. “If the babe needs the material of bones, it comes from you. If it needs the material of skin, it comes from you. There’s a reason you’re losing your teeth, Mrs. Hall.”

She looked away.

“You need to take a rest from bearing children. This babe likely won’t kill you. The next one might.”

And the story also has medical history (Snow, Semmelweiss, germ theory) a strained parent-child relationship, and love.

I adore Lydia and I love this story.

Publisher: Courtney Milan

Rating: 9/10


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