Midwives: A Novel

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Aug 13, 2002 - Fiction - 384 pages
A contemporary classic that has sold more than two million copies and was a selection of Oprah's original Book Club, Midwives is a compulsively readable novel that explores questions of human responsibility that are as fundamental to our society now as they were when the book was first published twenty years ago. 
On an icy winter night in an isolated house in rural Vermont, a seasoned midwife named Sibyl Danforth takes desperate measures to save a baby’s life. She performs an emergency cesarean section on a mother she believes has died of stroke. But what if—as Sibyl's assistant later charges—the patient wasn't already dead?   The ensuing trial bears the earmarks of a witch hunt, forcing Sibyl to face the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience. Exploring the complex and emotional decisions surrounding childbirth, Midwives engages, moves, and transfixes us as only the very best novels ever do.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - CarrieWuj - LibraryThing

Could probably use a re-read on this, but I remember it as very compelling and a total surprise twist at the end. Led me to read other books by Bohjalian too. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JReynolds1959 - LibraryThing

Sibyl Danforth is a midwife. She is very good at her profession. One stormy night, she is attending to the birth of Charlotte Bedford. Charlotte's husband, Pastor Asa Bedford and Sibyl's apprentice ... Read full review

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Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 21
Section 22
Section 23

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Page 4 - And so when the fury filed into the courtroom. an apostolic procession of twelve. I studied their eyes. I watched to see whether they would look at my mother or whether they would look away Sitting heside my father in the first row.
Page 4 - Don't look down or up or out the window. Please. please. look at me. look at my mother Look at us. look here. look here. look here. I'd watched the furors for days.
Page 3 - I ncn er w enl so far as to lift the receiyer of an upstairs telephone when I heard my mother speaking on the kitchen extension. often I stepped silently down the stairs until I could hear...
Page 4 - I was fourteen years old that fall. howeyer. and it sounded like more than a myth to me. It had that ring of truth to it that I heard in many wiyes' — and midwiyes
Page 3 - I could haye reconstructed almost exactly what the lawyer. friend. or midwife was saying at the other end of the line. I was always an ayid parent watcher.
Page 5 - I hlinked. hut a fourteen -year-old girls eyelids are no match for the lament I had welling inside me. My cries were quiet at first. the sound of u mournful whisper.
Page 5 - Amidst my sohs and wails. people haye said that I pleaded aloud. "Look at us! Oh. God. please. please look at us!
Page 4 - I oyerheard her attorney explain to my parents what he said was one of the great myths in litigation.

About the author (2002)

CHRIS BOHJALIAN is the author of twenty books, including The Guest Room; Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands; The Sandcastle Girls; Skeletons at the Feast; The Double Bind; and Midwives which was a number one New York Times bestseller and a selection of Oprah's Book Club. Chris's work has been translated into more than thirty languages, and three novels have become movies (Secrets of Eden, Midwives, and Past the Bleachers). Chris lives in Vermont and can be found at www.chrisbohjalian.com or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Litsy, and Goodreads.

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