For the past several years, I’ve watched a PBS show called Call the Midwife. It’s a series based on the memoirs entitled Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End by Jennifer Worth, a district nurse and midwife who was living in the East End of London during the 1950s. The show intermingles birth and birth issues experienced by a group of midwives consisting of nurses/midwives and nuns, with the theme of women friendships at the core of all these characters who live together in Nonnatus House.
When I first came across this show, I was mesmerized. In my own life, I’d experienced some ill-fitting friendships and was feeling pretty down about friendships in general. This show highlighted what REAL women friendships should and could be like, and that a sense of understanding and forgiveness is at the foundation of every true friendship in life. At the heart of it all? We may not agree sometimes with people or their actions, but if we care about them, what we can do as their friend is to love them. And at a deeper level, sometimes we don’t know the full story behind their actions. At one point in my novel, one of my characters says, “Who am I to judge?” realizing that she didn’t fully understand what was going on behind closed doors between two of her friends.
Over the past few years, I’ve written some short stories about friendship, some of which I featured in my collection The Postcard and Other Short Stories & Poetry that I published almost a year ago. Delving more into what constitutes strong friendships, and understanding that it takes two people to make a strong bond (lopsided friendships never work), I decided to take a run at writing a novel about the ways in which we navigate and need friends in our lives.
Little Milestones, my newest work which I hope to release in September, is a positive story about friendships and love, but at the very core, it’s about how both family and friends give us a sense of belonging. Set once again on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, our main character, Olivia Bruno, must find what has been missing in her life, and what that just may be is a connection to people and a place that she never knew she missed.