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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Thursday, July 24, 2014

Book Reviews — "Hannah, Delivered" by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew

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Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014 5:00 am | Updated: 11:30 pm, Thu May 29, 2014.

Hannah, Delivered by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew, Köehler Books, 316 pages

Hannah, Delivered is an imperfect book with loads of potential, if only an editor had coaxed it into the wonderful novel it could have been. As is, it’s a novel that reads too much like a memoir — the kind that struggles with pacing, with erratic decisions about when to show the action and when to summarize what happened. The conceit set out in the first chapter — of an experienced midwife telling a young midwife about her early days in the profession — doesn’t ultimately serve any purpose, since neither the teller nor the phantom listener has anything at stake in the conversation. The prose quality is uneven, and there is an edge of didacticism that subverts the book’s more literary charms.

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