Book - 1997
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Baker & Taylor
In the winter of 1981, trapped by unpassable roads, midwife Sibyl Danforth makes a life-altering decision when she performs an emergency cesarean section on a woman she fears has died of a stroke

Blackwell North Amer
In the pastoral community of Reddington, Vermont, during the harsh winter of 1981, Sibyl Danforth makes a life-or-death decision based on fifteen years of experience as a respected midwife - a decision intended to save a child, a decision that will change her life forever.
In the midst of a brutally cold night, cut off from the area hospital and even from the rescue squad by an ice storm that has downed phone lines and made roads impassable, Sibyl Danforth feels she has no alternative except to attempt to save the baby of a woman in her care who she fears has died of a stroke during a long and difficult labor. Later that day, however, the midwife's assistant tells the police that she believes the mother was still very much alive when the cesarean section was performed in the cold and isolated farmhouse.
The story of this tragedy and its aftermath is narrated by Sibyl's daughter, Connie, now an obstetrician, who is remembering the events that occurred the year she turned fourteen, when her mother's freedom and her family's fate rested in the hands of twelve men and women. As the Danforth family and the entire community are drawn into a gripping trial that at first appears meritless, and later frighteningly simple for Sibyl to lose, it is Connie's mesmerizing voice that perfectly captures a time, a place, and a group of people that will live on in the reader's memory long after this lyric, deeply suspenseful novel has ended.

& Taylor

An obstetrician and the daughter of a respected midwife from a rural Vermont community recounts the summer of her thirteenth year, when her mother stood accused of murdering a woman during a difficult delivery. 25,000 first printing. BOMC & QPB Alt.

Publisher: New York : Harmony Books, [1997]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©1997
ISBN: 9780517703960
Branch Call Number: FIC Bo 1997
Characteristics: 312 pages ; 25 cm
Audience: Accelerated Reader AR UG 7.2 19.0 24979


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May 08, 2017

Sybil Danforth is a passionate midwife who is caught in a difficult situation. She makes a split second decision to try and save a cbaby when she believes the mother is dead. This leads to a criminal case. No matter which side of the midwife shelf - favouring home births or believing hospital births are the only way to go - you are bound to be gripped by this novel. Chris Bohjalian has captured the essence of this woman's story in a very sensitive way. The narrator is Sybil's teenage daughter and the author portrays her angst well. A must read.

Mar 14, 2017

I am a huge Chris Bohjalian fan, but this is not his best book.
While I admire the research put into the subject matter, I found the pace a bit too slow. Interesting approach to have the story told from the point of view of the young daughter.

Three and a half stars.

CatherineG_1 Feb 10, 2016

Loved this story. Bohjalian captures the decision making of Sybil, an experienced midwife during a difficult delivery where she has to try and save mother and baby.
The story is told through the midwife and her daughter.

Feb 10, 2016

A big plus for the author for his thorough study of the topic of midwifery and female reproductive anatomy. This book - it's like a long, never-ending, trial. Really irritating. Read only a portion of the beginning and the portion of the ending, and skip almost all of the middle.

Jun 23, 2014

not a bad book. the story line was well thought out. I enjoyed the point of view of the daughter, with chapter notes by the mother. Clearly satisfying ending. the story moved along fairly well, with a few slow portions. would be better as a reader's digest condensed version. I like the author's style of writing.

Mar 28, 2014

I have had this title on hold for a long time -- but it is not moving. When I checked, I found that it is "LOST/DAMAGED". This title should be in the library because Bohjalian is a highly acclaimed writer of several novels and praised here by Publishers Weekly as writing "graceful and lucid, irony-laced prose."

Sent to ask a librarian
There are 3 holds (including mine) on this item, and the only copy in the catalogue shows LOST/DAMAGED.Is there anything to be done about this beside suggesting it for a purchase? -- which I have done -- but time goes on and nothing is happening. Thanks.

Jun 04, 2012

writer's grammatical style was poor with run-on sentences that were hard to discifer -gave up after 20 pages.

Feb 19, 2012

A very well written book. It started out a bit slow, but then I couldn't stop reading! The trial was interesting and the ending great.

Aug 04, 2011

I discovered this book by accident while searching for something else. I read it out of boredom and was more then pleasantly surprised. This book drew me in at the beginning and held my attention until the end.

Dec 14, 2009

Very enjoyable and easy to read book. Kept me interested the entire novel however, some part were slower than others. Loved the ending!


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