When an experienced midwife, Sibyl Danforth, is called to help one of her patients in the middle of what some would call “the snowstorm of the century,” she responds quickly. As the storm worsens, so does her patient and she is faced with a decision to save the baby.
She performs an emergency C-section because she believes her patient has died of a stroke. When an investigation shows that her patient may not have been dead at the time of the operation, Sibyl is placed on trial.
Midwives by Chris Bohjalian is written from the perspective of Sibyl’s daughter, who watches as her mother stands trial, suffers the animosity of modern doctors, and contends with her own conscience.
If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, yes, I would definitely recommend this book!
I read this book before motherhood, so I’m sure I would read it differently now. Nevertheless, it is still an amazing book that I would recommend to anyone. The book does go through the details of the emergency C-section, so it may not be the best read for everyone.
What I enjoyed the most was the unique perspective of the narrator. I fully expected to be inside the head of Sibyl when she made her decision and stood trial, but I was not. I think this made for an element of mystery, as the reader will never really know what Sibyl was thinking.
Even though I never knew her thoughts, I feel that Sibyl and the other characters were believable and relatable. I also enjoyed the ending, as it left the reader wondering if the woman was still alive at the time of the emergency C-section.
In this case, I enjoyed the uncertainty, how the book left me to decide for myself. Another aspect of the story that I liked was the rural setting. It was easy for me to picture, as I have spent a lot of time in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. The small-town feel of the setting made the story feel that much closer to home for me.
Overall, I would recommend this book to a busy mom. What I enjoyed the most about this book were the characters, the ending, and the setting. The element of mystery and intrigue also kept me reading and got me through this book quickly.
Five out of five stars
If you enjoyed my review of Midwives by Chris Bohjalian, you might also like Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Check out my review!
If you’re interested in purchasing Midwives, here are some quick links to buy the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And, if you’re interested to see what others think, here’s the link to the book on Goodreads.