The Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett | Book Review #TheCornishMidwife

Welcome to the beautiful seaside town of Port Agnes.

A fresh start…

Midwife Ella Mehenick left the small Cornish town of Port Agnes for London and never looked back. But when her seemingly perfect life crashes down around her, there’s only one place she can heal her battered heart – the place she once called home.

A new arrival…

Ella is quickly welcomed into the small community midwife team and loves her new job caring for mums and their precious babies – it’s what she does best! But being back also means facing ex-flame Dan Ferguson…the first man to break her heart.

A second chance at love?

Dan is still as gorgeous as ever, but he’s never forgiven Ella for leaving. And now she’s back it’s clear that there is unfinished business between them. As Ella settles into her new/old life, she can’t stop the memories of how she once loved Dan so completely – and maybe never stopped.

Maybe coming home to Cornwall is Ella’s chance to love again…

Meet The Cornish Midwives of Port Agnes- where community, friendship and love are always delivered.

An uplifting and escapist read, perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Jessica Redland and Holly Martin!

This book was previously published as Return to Port Agnes

Publisher: Boldwood Books
Format: Ebook, Audiobook, Paperback (15 April 2021)
Page Count: 292
Source: Review copy via Netgalley


It’s been a while since I read a book by Jo Bartlett (although I have been buying them – I see I have 9 on my Kindle!) – the last time Jo appeared on my blog was with a Q&A and a review of Among a Thousand Stars back in 2015 😮 however a new publisher (Boldwood Books) and a new series – I think its about time I caught up!

When senior midwife Ella Mehenick’s life in London comes to a sudden end in the most publicly humiliating way, the only place she wants to be is back in Port Agnes, the Cornish town where her parents Jago and Ruth run the bakery and which has a hold over her heart. It’s unfortunate that the reasons behind her return will not escape the locals but she will have to ride it out.

Ella slips easily into community life by covering for a midwife in the local community team and quickly becomes a friend and confidante to many. There is just one cloud – Dan Ferguson. Dan was the love of her life aged 18 before she left Port Agnes and things didn’t end well between them. Dan is now a successful property developer (and still single!) and even though Ella is not yet in the right place emotionally for another relationship she can’t help but feel those familiar sparks when they first meet again.

There is strong cast of supporting characters and a great feeling of camaraderie with Ella’s new work colleagues and they all have their own stories which become intertwined with hers. Ella was a much wanted baby and her parents still treat her like precious china, to the point of not so subtly trying to interfere in her life, for what they see as the best of reasons! Her father Jago is particularly stubborn and loyal to his Cornish heritage which causes some anguish and drama. He has a particular dislike of property developers who he perceives to be spoiling his beloved town.

The village of St Agnes becomes a character in its own right and there is a superb sense of place, with the Cornish landscape brought to life with vivid descriptions. I’ve always loved Cornwall and could easily visualise the typical landscape in my mind.

Ella is a fantastic character, excellent at her job, she is calm and efficient and is a great help to the expectant mothers in the village, one or two of which rely on her rather more than strictly necessary as she can’t help involving herself in their problems. It’s just a pity she finds it so difficult making up her own mind about what what she wants for her future! I did admit to being a little frustrated at times when she kept flip flopping about her own plans but expecting others to fall in with hers.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in St Agnes with Ella, her friends and family (and, of course Dan ❤️). It was definitely the right book at the right time for me, for although it was a warm and engaging read, there was also depth to the story with more serious issues. It obviously has some romance, actually for more than one couple, with the will they/won’t they question keeping me guessing.

Jo Bartlett has an excellent way of storytelling. I really enjoyed this and will be continuing with the rest of the series. The second of which is A Summer Wedding for the Cornish Midwife, due for publication in July.


I’ve made up stories for as long as I can remember, but never really took it any further. Concentrating on my career and family, writing went on the back burner until a catalyst called cancer gave me a major kick up the proverbial. I decided I was going to write that novel after all.

Since having my debut novel published in 2015, things have happened quite quickly and I have recently released my eighteenth novel. I’ve been able to fulfil a childhood dream of walking into WHSmiths and buying a book with my name on it and all eighteen of my books have been bestsellers in at least one Amazon chart. I write contemporary women’s fiction, with a focus on love, friendship, family and community, when I’m not knee deep in assignments at the university where I still teach part-time.

I was born a stone’s throw from the English Channel and I still live near the sea in Kent, with my own family – so close to the South East edge of England that we’re very nearly French.

Having recently signed a multi-book deal with my incredible publisher, my ambition to drink tea and make stuff up on a full-time basis is ever closer. If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or my author page on Facebook, I might even say something interesting one of these days… although I wouldn’t hold your breath!



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