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Midwives Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

4.0 out of 5 stars 503 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Random House Audio (Dec 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375406964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375406966
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 2.9 x 17.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 503 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,749,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Oprah Book Club® Selection, October 1998: On a violent, stormy winter night, a home birth goes disastrously wrong. The phone lines are down, the roads slick with ice. The midwife, unable to get her patient to a hospital, works frantically to save both mother and child while her inexperienced assistant and the woman's terrified husband look on. The mother dies but the baby is saved thanks to an emergency C-section. And then the nightmare begins: the assistant suggests that maybe the woman wasn't really dead when the midwife operated:

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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

In this new tale from the author of the acclaimed Water Witches (LJ 2/1/95), a New England midwife is accused of murder. Film rights were bought by Columbia-Tristar Pictures.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By evey TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 19 2016
Format: Paperback
The “Swiss Cheese Model” of system failure states that every step in a process has the potential for failure, to varying degrees. The ideal system is analogous to a stack of slices of Swiss cheese. Consider the holes to be opportunities for a process to fail, and each of the slices as “defensive layers” in the process. An error may allow a problem to pass through a hole in one layer, but in the next layer the holes are in different places, and the problem should be caught. Each layer is a defence against potential error impacting the outcome. For a catastrophic error to occur, the holes need to align in each step of the process allowing all defences to be defeated and resulting in an error. Each slice of cheese is an opportunity to stop an error. The more defences you put up, the fewer the holes and the smaller the holes, the more likely you are to catch/stop errors that may occur.

In 'Midwives', the layers were lined up with all the 'holes' in a row and Sybil Danforth, a lay midwife in rural Vermont in the early '80's finds herself on trial for manslaughter.

This book refers to Sybil's personal diaries at the beginning of each chapter, but the story is told by her 14 year old daughter, Connie who provides her perspective on the trial, her mother's midwifery practice and the complex family relationships that are tested during a time of high stress. I first read this book almost twenty years ago and I remembering liking it. When I came across it again recently, I decided to give it another read and had forgotten how much I had liked it. This one will stay on my bookshelf.
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Format: Paperback
I don't understand the negative reviews for this book! Mr. Bohjalian writes from a female POV and on top of that manages to do a fair job on it. Who says a male can't understand the female mind? The writing was a bit simplistic but I feel that this was due to the fact that at times we were looking on at the events of the story from a child and then eventually a teenagers POV. They are not going to be as articulate as an adult. In this I feel that Mr. Bohjalian is true to the character.
This story as stated earlier is from the POV of Connie. Connie is an adult that looks back on a situation that effected who she was and would become not only as a woman but as a professional. Connie's mom is arrested and tried after a home-birth that ends in the death of the laboring mother. What follows is a little look at one side of this tragic event that was not only thought provoking but moving.
I found myself pulled in from the very beginning and as a result I read this book in one day. This book doesn't beat up on Midwives or the choice of home-birthing. Nor is this book scary or overly graphic in nature. Mr. Bohjalian is a very talented author and I feel that he has done justice to this topic. The characters that make up this story are just as important as the storyline itself.
I must admit that I'm not much of a book club reader instead I read books that interst me so I have not jumped on the "bookclub bandwagon" but I found this book to really be the exception.
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Format: Paperback
Bojalian has done midwives a HUGE disservice in writing this book. He caricatures midwives, all the while professing to admire them. He has chosen the most extreme situation -- death -- as the central event, & includes a conventional, sensationalistic trial scene. Read carefully & note his alarmist, dark, dank language of risk & danger, the negative cast of all he presents. Oprah, in publicizing this book, falls right into the hands of those who see home birthing as enormously risky. In fact. It is important for readers to know that midwives practice throughout the world, and are the best attendants for childbearing women, especially independent midwives, who know the most about normal, natural birthing. Good midwives celebrate birth, believe in the women they attend, & in their capacities to labor & birth with all their body heart & soul. Oddly, people reading "Midwives" see it as positive. So, new readers, read carefully, thoughtfully, PLEASE. What is the author REALLY saying? Protest the book's aggrandizement!
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Format: Paperback
This isn’t normally the type of book I would pick up and feel the need to read. However, my sister absolutely loved it and lent it to me and told me I had to read it. So I did.

I’m surprised how much I actually enjoyed this book, because like I said it’s not really my type of book. At the same time, I’m disappointed I didn’t like it as much as my sister did. A bit of mixed feelings for me on this book.

The writing was very good. It’s clear Bohjalian is a great writer. And the story was good and interesting. I definitely wanted to keep reading to discover the outcome. However, I wasn’t able to become completely captivated when reading. While I enjoyed the story and wanted to see what happened, I had no problem setting it down to do something else. It actually took me a surprisingly long time to finish this book.

People who are into this type of story will devour this book and love every minute of it. So, if the synopsis sounds like it’s a story right up your alley, definitely pick up this book!
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