Book Club Review: Midwives

Hi there! It’s been such a long time since I’ve checked in. I hope everyone’s 2013 New Year’s Resolutions are off to a great start, and if they’re not, that’s ok too. Whether you make a big change in January, February, August or December, change is good!

I’ve been meaning to do a post on our New Year’s Eve Party, but that requires me to take the pictures off the real camera and put them here, and well… life. Sorry, it’s coming. Probably before 2014.

For now, I’d like to talk about Midwives.

midwives

 

This month’s book club pick was Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. I had such funny feelings about this book. As I was reading it, I kept thinking, “I don’t like this book.” Yet, I couldn’t put it down. I needed to know what happened. It’s like this book tricked me into liking it.

The story is about a midwife named Sybil, but it’s told by her now grown daughter Connie. Connie, now an OBGYN reflects back on The Event and aftermath that rocked her 14 year old world and changed her family’s life.

I was immediately intrigued by this book because the author, Chris Bohjalian, is actually a man, but he writes so fluently from the perspective of both 14 year old Connie and hyper feminine midwife Sybil, and I really respect him for taking on that challenge.

Typically, I don’t fully enjoy suspenseful novels because I find myself racing through the pages to get to the critical moment that the book will inevitably hinge on. In the case of Midwives though, the night that will change everything is described almost immediately, and the rest of the story is basically an in depth examination of the details of Charlotte Bedford’s labor and delivery as well as the differing perspectives of the characters involved.

What kept me thinking that I didn’t like the book was that I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. Connie was brave, but so stoic that I found it difficult to relate to her, and Sybil was so intense; I wondered if she cared about what her decisions had done to her family at all. In the end, it was clear that she loved her family very much, but it was too little, too late for me at that point.

Midwives redeemed itself and kept me reading through it’s subject matter which I feel is especially relevant today.  It feels to me like home births are making a come back in modern society, and there’s a lot of debate as to whether or not that’s really a good thing. I don’t think the book will answer that question for you, but it will make you consider it. Maybe just don’t read it while you’re pregnant.

This month’s book is The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. If you’ve read it or are reading it, let me know what your thoughts on it are!

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