Midwives Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Midwives

Sibyl Danforth is a midwife in a small town in Vermont. She is well-liked by many and is well-experienced in maternity care and delivery. However, she, along with other midwives are often ridiculed and criticized by doctors in the community and across the nation, who believe that midwives are unfit to perform delivery as safely and efficiently as doctors are able to in a hospital setting.
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Sibyl performs an emergency cesarean section, in an effort to save the life of a baby on a mother she believes died of stroke. But some witnesses believe that the mother may have still been alive, and was killed by Sibyl instead.

As Sibyl answers to the law and faces the hostility of the doctors, she is forced to revisit the night of the tragedy again and again until her case goes to court.
The review of this Book prepared by Jenna Evans

Midwives is a heartbreaking story of a midwife on trial for the apparent murder of one of her patients. One winter night, while trapped in a cabin in the woods, something goes horribly wrong, forcing the Midwife to perform a hasty cesarean section on what she thought was a dead woman. Told from her daughters perspective, this book tells the tale of a murder trial and the havok it wrecks on a small Virginian family.

The review of this Book prepared by Kristina Noel

A midwife named Sibyl Danforth performs an impromptu cesarean section on a mother whom she believes died during childbirth. But was the woman dead, or did the C-section kill her? Sibyl is charged with involuntary manslaughter and goes to trial to prove her innocence. However, even she questions the events that took place. The story is narrated by her 14-year-old daughter, as well as herself. A gripping, suspense-filled read.
The review of this Book prepared by Nancy Hochman

Chapter Analysis of Midwives

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Life of a profession:    -   doctor Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   actions leading to death of someone Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   doctor Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   7 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast    -   Northeast Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Chris Bohjalian Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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