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Did she perform at least eight or nine cycles as my mother said, or four or five as Asa recalled? That is the sort of detail that was disputable. But at some point within minutes of what my mother believed had been a stroke, after my mother concluded the cardiopulmonary resuscitation had failed to generate a pulse or a breath, she screamed for Asa and Anne to find her the sharpest knife in the house.In Midwives, Chris Bohjalian chronicles the events leading up to the trial of Sibyl Danforth, a respected midwife in the small Vermont town of Reddington, on charges of manslaughter. It quickly becomes evident, however, that Sibyl is not the only one on trial--the prosecuting attorney and the state's medical community are all anxious to use this tragedy as ammunition against midwifery in general; this particular midwife, after all, an ex-hippie who still evokes the best of the flower-power generation, is something of an anachronism in 1981. Through it all, Sibyl, her husband, Rand, and their teenage daughter, Connie, attempt to keep their family intact, but the stress of the trial--and Sibyl's growing closeness to her lawyer--puts pressure on both marriage and family. Bohjalian takes readers through the intricacies of childbirth and the law, and by the end of Sibyl Danforth's trial, it's difficult to decide which was more harrowing--the tragic delivery or its legal aftermath.
Narrated by a now adult Connie, Midwives moves back and forth in time, fitting vital pieces of information about what happened that night like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle into its complicated plot. As Connie looks back on her mother's trial, she is still trying to understand what happened--not on the night of the disaster--but in the months and years that followed. --Margaret Prior
I felt this was a beautifully written story, I couldn't put it down! Being from Vermont only allowed me to connect with the setting and characters that much more. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Charlotte
Thoroughly enjoyed this book - absorbing from page 1 - my friends rated it the same as I did - definitely a good read and a book club recommendation ...Published 13 days ago by CJ
We read this in our Book Club. Interesting feed back. Some felt there was too much narrative by the daughter, but I found it very interesting and gives a good view on a subject... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Janey
a well written book, full of suspense. I enjoyed reading this book.Published 27 days ago by George B. Hauser
This was my first book by Chris Bonjalain and I enjoyed it very much. I will be reading more from this author.Published 28 days ago by Eleanor
Just seems to last forever! I got bored and skimmed the last half and still knew what was happening. Could have been a lot shorter story.Published 29 days ago by Chantel Mcconn
Sybil is a midwife who is accused of killing, maybe murdering, one of "her mothers," that is, one of her patients, while she was in labor. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Beth