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The Silent Cradle Hardcover – May 1, 1998


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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Atria; First Edition edition (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671015133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671015138
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,610,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dr. Rae Duprey, vice-chair of Berkeley Hills Hospital's OB/GYN department, has capably met the challenges of being a rare black woman in her profession. But her life is thrown into turmoil when she learns that her department may be eliminated?largely because the rival Birth Center, whose medical director is Rae's arrogant ex-boyfriend, is luring away patients with high-end frills. That's just the beginning of her troubles in this promising but ultimately flat debut about murderous behind-the-scenes scheming in the baby-delivering business. When a series of Birth Center patients with serious complications arrive at Berkeley Hills, Rae starts to wonder whether the Birth Center may be admitting high-risk patients it's not qualified to care for. When a nurse who's also Rae's best friend is savagely attacked, Rae begins to suspect something may be more seriously awry. Then she is blamed for the difficult deliveries and dismissed from the staff. Obstetrician Cuthbert shines when she's describing delivery-room drama, conveying the kind of reflexes and judgment a dedicated physician must cultivate. Unfortunately, the inherent suspense of such scenes is undercut by a byzantine, unconvincing plot. Worse, the characters are wooden types it's hard to care about outside the delivery room?even in the case of the protagonist, who's the model of an ideal doctor but fails to come alive as a human being. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

OB/GYN Cuthbert debuts with a medical thriller featuring OB/GYN Rae Duprey, who uncovers evil doings at a birthing center.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a book I really wanted to like. The concept of a minority author with a lucrative career as a professional, trying her hand at writing--well, there's romance in the situation before pen is put to paper. What a disappointment. What ever happened to the role of the editor? I had the feeling, as I was painfully slogging through page after dilletantish page, that this was a modern case of the Emperor's New Clothes. No one at the publishing house had the nerve to call a halt to this fiasco before it hit the presses. Either that, or the publisher was so cynical that he or she believed that the book might be a hit simply because of the author's personal story, and the color of her skin. Never mind about the clicheed plot, one-dimensional characters, and drivel dialogue. When I think of how precious time is nowadays, I found myself getting angry at all involved. Including myself for pushing through to the so-what-who-cares ending. I trust Dr. Cuthbert's patients get better care than did her manuscript.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The mystery in "Silent Cradle" was excellent but the characters were boring. Flippant descriptions of clothing and food were at inappropriate times. If the heroine worked for me and behaved like this one did, she'd be looking for a job someplace else. I kept thinking, "Get real!" or "I'm sure!" at some of the heroine's antics. "Silent Cradle" also was not the best, descriptive title for this book. The author did a good job of making everybody look guilty, making them "good guys" then casting doubt on them again so that you were always wondering - however, after too many times doing this, I got to the point of "who cares?" Dr. Cuthbert might want to pay attention to her practice for awhile.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hippolytos on November 7, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Cuthbert certainly isn't breaking any new ground with her debut novel, but it is certainly a quick read, with good characterization and able action sequences. The plot is brilliant in theory, less so in its execution. It becomes apparent all too soon who is beyond the nefarious plot of inducing expectant mothers into premature labor.
Admittedly, the novel is difficult to get into, and bears all the signs of a new author, but soon the plot gels and you'll be lost in its unfolding. While the denoument is predictable, you'll hang in there with main character Dr. Rae and with Cuthbert to see the villain get their comeuppance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chan McDermott on October 22, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book very distressing. First, the medical stuff is very overblown. OBs do *not* spend their time saving babies left and right -- I read several passages to a few of my OB friends and we all agreed, "Give us a break!" Second, the hospital politics was *not* realistic! Third, the author -- and consequently her heroine -- appears to be a drama queen (not something I think I would want in my doctor!). Like many reviewers, I found myself angry that I continued reading the book. But I also found myself angry that the author, as an OB, depicted birth as a big scary event which often goes bad. Pregnant women in our society hear enough scary stories and don't need them perpetuated by an OB writing a "thriller."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The main character of this book Dr. Rae Duprey, head of the Berkeley Hills Hospital OB/Gyn department, should be a smart woman. But in this book, she comes across as impulsive, not very crafty, and careless in her investigations. She puts herself in danger needlessly. Her romance seemed contrived and unbelievable. I felt myself resenting the time reading the book and found the ending a disappointment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I read this book with a great deal of curiosity, since I work in a hospital Labor & Delivery unit. The medical tangent is right-on, and I probably agree with her analysis of the health care crisis in America. Also, my experience with many Md's match hers. However,I wish she did not perpetuate the stereotype of loose-moraled doctors and gossipy nurses. Dr. Cuthbert's writing skills are weak and at best sophmoric.I was not drawn to any of her characters except Bernie, the protagonist's close friend. Their dialogue rang true, while unfortunately much of the actions and conversations of the other characters did not.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If ever there was an example of a woman professional (doctor) who should stick to her specialty (OB/GYN) it is Dr. Margaret Cuthbert. She may be attractive (her cover picture sure is) and a great physician but she has neither the writing talent nor the imagination required to produce an edge-of-your-seat thriller. I was bored through most of this book - but kept hoping it would get better as I read on. It didn't and I was both bored and annoyed when I finally reached the end.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It blows my mind that anyone would think this book is anything other than complete garbage. The writing is insipid and laden with clichés: "The first tear had been for Nola's baby. This one was for her mother, almost twenty-five years late." The characters are largely one dimensional (the Bad Guy, the Mean Guy, the Doctor Who Just Wants To Help People, Gosh Darn It!, and so on) and far from appealing, not to mention graced with a ridiculous menagerie of names: Rae, Bo, Mack The Doorman. The medical jargon, such as it is, is intrusively explained with introductory phrases of laughably bad quality: " 'She has a pulmonary embolus.' Rae didn't have to remind herself that a pulmonary embolus was very serious indeed."
Unfortunately, there isn't even a decent plot to resuce such a literary abortion. The perpetrator is identifiable by any vaguely perceptive reader within pages of his/her introduction, thus making completing the novel completely unnecessary.
If you like medical thrillers, for the love of God stick with Robin Cook and Michael Crichton. Neither of them is likely to win a Pulitzer anytime soon, but their writing is phenomenal compared to the embarrassment that is The Silent Cradle.
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