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Midwives: A Novel
ISBN 0517703963 / 9780517703960 / 0-517-70396-3
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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. [via]