Set in a small rural community in Vermont, this is the story of Sibyl Danforth, a respected midwife who is accused of murder after she performs a caesarian section on a mother in her care, whom she believes to have died of a stroke during a long and difficult labour. Now she is on trial.
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Midwives, Chris Bohjalian's fifth novel, is the story of two women: Sibyl Danforth, a lay midwife in rural Vermont, and her daughter, Connie. The nexus of this cautionary tale is an emergency Caesarean section Sibyl performs during a home birth that goes disastrously wrong. Believing the mother is already dead from a stroke, Sibyl operates and later finds herself on trial for killing the woman. The compelling story of her trial and its aftermath comes to us from Connie, who believes "this is my story, too." In fact, Connie's reaction to her mother's ordeal is to go to medical school and become an obstetrician. The book raises provocative issues about medical ethics and the limits of risk.From the Back Cover:
"The courtroom settings provide . . . ample suspense, but Bohjalian is equally adept at rendering . . . quieter, individual drama. . . . A writer of unusual heart."
"A treasure. . . . It is a rare pleasure when a finely written novel also grips us with sheer storytelling power."
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Book Description Vintage UK, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 009926806X