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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
It was a good book, just not a great book. I'm not sorry I read it, but I wouldn't read it a second time.Published 14 days ago by Kathy Adler
I really enjoyed this book. Read it every chance I got. Anxious to share it with others. :-)Published 14 days ago by Mary
I first learned of this book when I watched the movie with Sissy Spacek on TV and found it was based on a book. Read morePublished 17 days ago by JBJ
After reading Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, I wanted to go back and red some of Chris Bohjalian's earlier works. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Susan R
Chris Bohjalian researched midwifery and wrote a very compelling story about a home birth gone awry. I was drawn into this book in the first chapter. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Mary
I enjoyed the book very much. My only reservation is that I wanted more surety at times. I can't elaborate on "surety" without creating spoilers. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Chelsea
What an incredible story. Really unique that it is told from the perspective of the daughter. Really makes you think!Published 24 days ago by LilLizzie
Combination "coming of age, mystery, social commentary, courtroom drama". I found it hard to put down. Read morePublished 28 days ago by ecaux