July 19, 2019

Looking Back - Midwives

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
1998 Vintage (first published in 1997)
Finished in November 1998
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good!)

Publisher's Blurb:

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.

My Original Notes (1998):

Very good novel. Brought back memories of my labor/delivery with my daughter. Good courtroom drama with enough suspense that I didn't guess the verdict until the very end.

My Current Thoughts:

This was the first book I read by Bohjalian and I really enjoyed it. It was probably an online book group selection and while I no longer own a copy, I'm somewhat interested in reading it a second time.


  1. I remember reading this book, long ago. I think it may have been an Oprah selection.

    1. Deb, I think you're right. I was reading a lot of Oprah selections back then. Her book club introduced me to a lot of new (and very good) authors!


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