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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 4, 2007
A very entertaining book, speaking of a series of difficult decisions to be taken in a split second and against a further series of negative circumstances surrounding the problematic birth of a baby, delivered by an experienced midwife during a snowy night in rural Vermont. When things deteriorate, Sybil, the midwife, has to make a crucial decision which will then lead to a lawsuit.

This book certainly makes you think about how everything can go wrong if adverse fate interferes, but not only. It also gives rise to a crucial question regarding the choice between childbirth taking place in the serenity of a home or at a hospital, where everything would be "colder" but most risks could be kept at bay.

With all due respect, I must admit I was really impressed that the author of this book is a male, as everything is recounted with such feminine accuracy. Well done, truly well done. A book to be remembered. I still do and I've read it at least five years ago!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
What a great story. Told by the teenage daughter, this book has everything and keeps you interested until the end. I have recommended this book to many friends and I recommend it to the readers of this review - you will surely appreciate this read.
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on June 23, 2004
Midwives is a gut-wrenching novel about Midwifery in rural New England. Midwife, Sibyl Danforth, through the eyes of her daughter. Cut off from the outside world during a blizzard in rural Vermont, Sibyl performes an emergency C-section on a mother she believes is dead to save a baby. What follows is a trial between the ancient art of midwifery and modern medicine. But what is really at stake here is a tradition going back thousands of years between strong self-sufficient mothers and the self-proclaimed security blanket of the establishment.
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on June 22, 2004
Chris Bohjalian did an Excellent job writting Midwives. I was enormously shocked to find out that the person writting this book was a man!! They way he used such words as Vulva and the vocabulary were perfect. I have never heard a man know so much about birth. I really had forgotten it was a man writting the book and not a woman!
I recommend this book to anyone and everyone!! It is a Masterpiece in the way that the book draws your attention from the beginning to the end. The character selection does not stay behind at all either. Connie was very independant in the book and the connection that her and her mother had was beyond believe. I would have never thought a girl so young could know so much about a topic that is kept away from kids.
I am not going to say much to not give the book away, but It was great. This book is my favorite so far from any of the summer readings I have done this summer. Oprah could not have chosen any better. High Five Mr. Bohjalian and High Five Oprah...5 BIG STARS.
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on June 21, 2004
If there is any book that exemplifies self-doubt and innocence, it is Chris Bohjalian's Midwives. The story is told by a grown woman about the most important moment in her life which was the events leading to and the trial of her mother Sybal for the involuntary manslaughter of her patient Charlotte Bedford. Never have I read a story where the terms of a character's self-doubt resulted from a human error, which ended in a life and death situation. Chris Bohjalian has done well to portray all this from the perspective of Connie when she was fourteen but by the end of the story, although my heart goes out to every character who was deeply effected by the tragic event I'm still not too sure whose side I'm entirely for. If you're a reader of suspense and tragedy, Midwives is a must.
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on June 17, 2004
Chris Bohjalian did a great job with this book. The life of a midwife occupation and the risks they take everyday to make women feel comfortable in their homes was beautifully portrayed. The court room drama held out right to the end...there were twists and turns throughout the book. The becoming of age of the narrator, Connie, makes a great connection between mother and daughter. My hat is off you Chris Bohjalian!!!
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on June 17, 2004
I really enjoyed reading this book. I was really impressed with the form of narration that this book was written in. This book is framed by a dramatic story of a midwife and the struggles one might face when working outside "the establishment." This is a wonderful coming of age story.
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on June 17, 2004
Birth and Death
Midwives, by Chris Bohjalian, shakes all preconceptions one might have about the practice of midwifery. Regardless of any bias one might hold, for or against, the story of Vermont midwife, Sibyl Danforth, on trial for the death of one of her patients, brings us up short. With the jury, the reader is forced to examine the evidence. The events unfold, retrospectively, through the eyes of Sibyl's 14-year-old daughter, Connie - a fact which somehow makes the story more poignant and wrenching. This frightened young girl stands to lose her mother and her home, as well as her innocence.
Author Bohjalian deftly gives the reader new background and information only when the story requires it, keeping the suspense from first to last. The characters are believable - if not people you know, people you can respect and to whom you can lend your sympathy. Your heart will ache for all the innocent victims as the story plays out.
Oprah Winfrey chose well for her Book Club. Read this book.
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on June 17, 2004
This was an entertaining book about Sybil Danforth, a midwife. There are tons of high and low points, and there never really is a dull moment. You learn about the midwife occupation, and all the good and horrible things that can happen. The narrator of the novel is Sybil's daughter who relects back to when she was a teenager, and something horrible happened to her mother.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2004
froma guy point of view, i was truly engaged with this novel. From the begining with the word "Vulva" i was stuck ready. Sometimes it may be difficult for a male to sit back and enjoy the details of a C-section when giving birth. this novel was a Drama intangled by a tragedy. through the eyes of young Sibyl, this is a mystery amongst all others. the guy with too much testosterone, probably wouldnt be able to enjoy the book for the subject. good thing for me i'm not that guy
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