Midwives

Midwives

Book - 1998
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"Superbly crafted and astonishingly powerful. . . . It will thrill readers who cherish their worn copies of To Kill A Mockingbird." --People With a suspense, lyricism, and moral complexity that recall To Kill a Mockingbird and Presumed Innocent, this compulsively readable novel explores what happens when a woman who has devoted herself to ushering life into the world finds herself charged with responsibility in a patient's tragic death. 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.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1998, ©1997
Edition: First Vintage Contemporaries edition
ISBN: 9780679771463
0679771468
9780375706776
0375706771
Branch Call Number: FICTION Boh
Description: 374 pages ; 21 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

A talented midwife is arrested for murder when she saves a baby by performing a Caesarean section once she believes the mother has died--only to have her assistant insist later that the woman was still very much alive. Told in the mesmerizing voice of the midwife's daughter, Midwives depicts the ... Read More »


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w
writermala
May 08, 2017

Sybil Danforth is a passionate midwife who is caught in a difficult situation. She makes a split second decision to try and save a cbaby when she believes the mother is dead. This leads to a criminal case. No matter which side of the midwife shelf - favouring home births or believing hospital births are the only way to go - you are bound to be gripped by this novel. Chris Bohjalian has captured the essence of this woman's story in a very sensitive way. The narrator is Sybil's teenage daughter and the author portrays her angst well. A must read.

p
pharra
Mar 14, 2017

I am a huge Chris Bohjalian fan, but this is not his best book.
While I admire the research put into the subject matter, I found the pace a bit too slow. Interesting approach to have the story told from the point of view of the young daughter.

Three and a half stars.

CatherineG_1 Feb 10, 2016

Loved this story. Bohjalian captures the decision making of Sybil, an experienced midwife during a difficult delivery where she has to try and save mother and baby.
The story is told through the midwife and her daughter.

p
Pisinga
Feb 10, 2016

A big plus for the author for his thorough study of the topic of midwifery and female reproductive anatomy. This book - it's like a long, never-ending, trial. Really irritating. Read only a portion of the beginning and the portion of the ending, and skip almost all of the middle.

2
21221018293347
Jun 23, 2014

not a bad book. the story line was well thought out. I enjoyed the point of view of the daughter, with chapter notes by the mother. Clearly satisfying ending. the story moved along fairly well, with a few slow portions. would be better as a reader's digest condensed version. I like the author's style of writing.

a
ANNE J. WRIGHT
Mar 28, 2014

I have had this title on hold for a long time -- but it is not moving. When I checked, I found that it is "LOST/DAMAGED". This title should be in the library because Bohjalian is a highly acclaimed writer of several novels and praised here by Publishers Weekly as writing "graceful and lucid, irony-laced prose."

Sent to ask a librarian
There are 3 holds (including mine) on this item, and the only copy in the catalogue shows LOST/DAMAGED.Is there anything to be done about this beside suggesting it for a purchase? -- which I have done -- but time goes on and nothing is happening. Thanks.

h
happycanuck
Jun 04, 2012

writer's grammatical style was poor with run-on sentences that were hard to discifer -gave up after 20 pages.

l
LASbookluvr
Feb 19, 2012

A very well written book. It started out a bit slow, but then I couldn't stop reading! The trial was interesting and the ending great.

b
bicron101
Aug 04, 2011

I discovered this book by accident while searching for something else. I read it out of boredom and was more then pleasantly surprised. This book drew me in at the beginning and held my attention until the end.

t
toepix
Dec 14, 2009

Very enjoyable and easy to read book. Kept me interested the entire novel however, some part were slower than others. Loved the ending!

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