Author: Chris Bohjalian
Review from Amazon.com:
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.
I read this book several years ago, and I wanted to choose it for July because it is a good fit for a “Summer Reading” novel, and also because I recently completed my Obstetrics Clinical Rotation. I chose to read the book as part of Oprah’s Book Club (a phase I was going through at the time), but was glad that I did. If you haven’t read it…you’ll be glad you did too.