Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
The time is 1981, and Sibyl Danforth has been a dedicated midwife in the rural community of Reddington, Vermont, for fifteen years. But one treacherous winter night, in a house isolated by icy roads and failed telephone lines, Sibyl takes desperate measures to save a baby’s life. She performs an emergency Caesarean section on its mother, who appears to have died in labor. But what if—as Sibyl’s assistant later charges—the patient wasn’t already dead, and it was Sibyl who inadvertently killed her?
As recounted by Sibyl’s precocious fourteen-year-old daughter, Connie, the ensuing trial bears the earmarks of a witch hunt except for the fact that all its participants are acting from the highest motives—and the defendant increasingly appears to be guilty. As Sibyl Danforth faces the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience, Midwives engages, moves, and transfixes us as only the very best novels ever do.
This isn’t normally the type of book I would pick up and feel the need to read. However, my sister absolutely loved it and lent it to me and told me I had to read it. So I did.
I’m surprised how much I actually enjoyed this book, because like I said it’s not really my type of book. At the same time, I’m disappointed I didn’t like it as much as my sister did. A bit of mixed feelings for me on this book.
The writing was very good. It’s clear Bohjalian is a great writer. And the story was good and interesting. I definitely wanted to keep reading to discover the outcome. However, I wasn’t able to become completely captivated when reading. While I enjoyed the story and wanted to see what happened, I had no problem setting it down to do something else. It actually took me a surprisingly long time to finish this book.
People who are into this type of story will devour this book and love every minute of it. So, if the synopsis sounds like it’s a story right up your alley, definitely pick up this book!
Best Aspect: Writing
Worst Aspect: Captivity