by Chris Bohjalian
Synopsis: 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.
Review: I liked the concept of this book and I think it had a good story line, I just think the execution could have been better. This book was slow to jump into the action. There was so much background information that the author thought we needed about Sibyl's life and her career as a midwife. There is also a lot of information that the author felt he needed to give us about Connie. The trial doesn't start until after half way through the book-it's probably close to 2/3rds of the way through the book. Once the trial starts, the book moves much more quickly. I wish that the author had started the trial much earlier in the book and incorporated Sibyl's earlier life in with the trial. The whole time I thought I knew what the outcome of the trial was going to be and I was surprised by the ending and boy the last page really surprised me even more!
Rating: 3 stars