Journey in the Middle of the Road

Murch, Muriel

Primary Category: Literature / Nonfiction

Genre: Memoir

Annotated by:
Davis, Cortney
  • Date of entry: Dec-21-1999


Registered Nurse, Muriel Murch decided, at mid-life, to return to college to obtain her BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). She relates this odyssey through a series of generous and quirky letters written to her mother, her children, her husband, and, most strikingly, her deceased Uncle Harold, whose memory serves as Murch's spiritual touchstone.

The book works on two levels. Her struggles as an older woman and already-experienced nurse in a BSN program are delightfully detailed in letters to friends, but to Uncle Harold she reveals the turbulence of her quest: how at mid-life she must rethink her role as wife and mother and view patient care from a new perspective.


Mid-life or alternative nursing students will be encouraged and moved by this memoir. These letters disclose a lively tale with all the elements of a mythological hero's quest as Murch interweaves the story of her return to college with the tale of a challenging marriage, her relationship with children who have grown up and away, and a learning disability that almost sabotages her success.

If this is a hero's tale, then women--the exceptional teachers and students who befriend and assist Murch--serve as the chorus. Some of the most interesting moments occur when Murch muses about the hospitals and clinics in which she works and about her sensitive and mature interactions with patients, especially the young, pregnant and disenfranchised women she cares for in a downtown clinic.



Place Published

Portland, Oreg.



Page Count