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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
This was an excellent book. Characters were well developed. Suspenseful. Anxious for outcome to be decided. Journal entries were positive. Story told from voice of daughterPublished 21 days ago by RalphAAnnunziata
What was this author thinking? The book was a complete waste of my time. I really enjoyed three other books by Chris Bohjalian and on that basis purchased the Midwives. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Angela Artist
This book is still one that I think about and it has been over a year since I read it. Definitely a must read.Published 25 days ago by Amz Shppr
Good storyline from beginning to end. Talks about various criticism that mothers and midwives are faced withconcerning in home births.Published 1 month ago by Peggy Peterson
I haven't finish it yet, but I find it very long and some times boring. It's interesting to know about the midwives but it drags.Published 1 month ago by OP
I liked most everything about this novel although the subject matter is troubling. The characters seem very real, like people who might live down the road. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Elisa Delfino
very well written from a teenagers perspective. Really gives you a feel for those who are midwifes. Ending is predictable but still ointeresting how they handle it.Published 1 month ago by A. Quinn
I didn't think this book came close to "The Sandcastle Girls" which I thought was super!!!!! Bohjalian can tell a story but this one didn't resonate with me.Published 2 months ago by A Rockland reader
Thoroughly enjoyed this book but was saddened by the ending. Well written! I'd read Chris Bohjalian again and will pass it on to my reading group.Published 2 months ago by Veronica Brown