Vintage Contemporaries

Midwives

A Novel

Publisher: Vintage
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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Throughout the long summer before my mother's trial began, and then during those crisp days in the fall when her life was paraded publicly before the county--her character lynched, her wisdom impugned--I overheard much more than my parents realized, and I understood more than they would have liked.

Through the...
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READING GUIDE

The questions, discussion topics, author biography, and suggestions for further reading that follow are designed to enhance your group's reading of Chris Bohjalian's Midwives.  We hope they will give you a number of new angles from which to consider this enthralling and provocative novel, a gripping...
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PRAISE FOR

"Superbly crafted and astonishingly powerful. . . . Will thrill readers who cherish their worn copies of To Kill A Mockingbird." --People