Midwives (Oprah's Book Club)
by Chris Bohjalian
Paperback- $11.29

A contemporary classic that has sold more than two million copies and was a selection of Oprah's original Book Club, Midwives is ...

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  "Interesting and very well written" by lexihohol (see profile) 04/11/07

A book that makes you think about how our American society views the process of birth.

 
  "This story recounts a series of mistakes that leads to the death of a woman in childbirth. Was the midwife responsible or not? A court trial determines her fate." by LMH (see profile) 11/22/08

Although some of our book club enjoyed the book I found it poorly written and too long. The characters were not well developed and the conclusion was unsatisying.

 
  "A very quick read and very thought-provoking." by Madam Secretary (see profile) 11/22/08

This book certainly gave way to great discussions about the old rules of right and wrong and all the gray areas in between. What comes first, family or community? Is there a moral high ground to be scaled?

 
  "Midwife performs emergency C-section on woman she is sure has died during childbirth." by gazzingo (see profile) 11/25/08

The book is written from the perspective of the woman's daughter who has gong on to become an OB/GYN. So much to discuss regarding natural childbirth and how it was not readily available in the hospitals at that time. Great book for discussion.

 
  "A young girl recounts the story of her midwife-mother's trial for manslaughter after an emergency c-section birth." by cem1230 (see profile) 11/29/08

I did not particularly like the writing in this novel,(the author tried too hard to use the diction of the 7o's but falls short) but the "big picture" did generate interesting discussion about moral responsibility and culpability.

 
  "Midwives (at Home Births)" by guerreros (see profile) 05/01/09

In our group we have two nurses, one member is married to an OBGYN and one member's aunt is a midwife, and one member's daughter had her baby at home with a midwife. The make up of our group made for very interesting discussion.

 
  "Midwives by Chris Bohjalian" by FTessa (see profile) 11/02/10

Bohjalian does an excellent job taking us through the various decisions and viewpoints of one critical night, when a talented midwife saves a baby by performing an emergency Caesarean section after a mother dies in childbirth. BUT, was the mother dead? The story is told by the midwife’s daughter, and focuses on what happens afterwards. This was a great discussion book for our book club.

 
  "Couldn't put it down" by jencygan (see profile) 01/21/11

 
  "Midwives" by uaajac1 (see profile) 01/29/11

 
  "midwives" by msharry (see profile) 03/23/11

The story of a modern day midwife in a small Vermont town is told through the eyes of her young teenage daughter. Her teenage angst is magnified by the need to help her parents through the catastrophe that befalls their family-mother ends up on trial after death of one of her mothers. I well remember the tales of flower children and their distrust of any establishment-even the medical one, and all the arguments for and against midwives. What happens in this book is a tragedy for all involved.

 
  "Good story with the potential to spark a lot of conversation" by jenniferharding (see profile) 05/12/11

Sybil Danforth is a lay-midwife practicing for over a decade when one snowy morning, a laboring mother passes away during labor. To save the baby, Sybil performs a c-section. Baby is born alive and healthy, but suddenly there is question as to whether the mother truly was deceased at the time of the c-section.

I chose this book for my book club expecting a lot of debate since there are varying degrees of acceptance of home births in my club. Everyone seemed to like the book, but it definitely wasn't one of our more enthusiastic conversations. Overall I would recommend this book to other book clubs.

 
  "Interesting read" by char3200 (see profile) 11/17/11

I found this book to be quite real and at times suspenseful. It's about a midwife who is forced to make a spilt second decision and ends up on trial for it. Near the end I couldn't put it down. Great book.

 
  "Midwives" by hkelly (see profile) 03/08/12

At first, I had a hard time getting into this book. The graphic details were too much. I never saw the word vulva and other female anatomy parts in print so repeatedly. As I read, I became deeply involved in Connie's story. I was anxious to learn if her mother, Sybil, was indeed guilty.This book was well written. I really enjoyed it.

 
  "midwives" by 18cinnamon (see profile) 10/27/15

It was a lively discussion at our meeting. Most people were drawn to the book and characters from the beginning of the book. We found very it informative on a subject most of us knew little about. It was very well written and many group member plan to read more Chris Bohjalian books.

 
  "Not a book that men will like" by madriver (see profile) 12/02/15

...so it's interesting that it was written by a man. Our group felt like the impressions of a 14-year old girl just didn't work, and that hurt the book. Also, some found it very slow going, but liked the diary excerpts at the beginning of each chapter.

 
  "Midwives " by ciao2t (see profile) 01/11/18

 
  " Mostly positive reaction" by wileygreen (see profile) 04/05/18

Our club had a mostly positive response and discussed the lawyer, boyfriend, Sybil, and daughter as main characters. Issues were the daughter's final action and her observations of her parents and also her Mom and the attorney's relationship; the midwife's actions and the midwife community.

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