The Midwife's Confession - Diane Chamberlain

Released May 2011

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Noelle, Tara, and Emerson are best of friends and have been since college. Tara's still reeling by the tragic death of her husband. Her daughter, Grace, is distant and seems to want nothing to do with her. Emerson knows her friend is hurting and all she can do is be supportive and have her daughter be there for Grace. Noelle, a recently retired midwife, stuns all of them by committing suicide.

Tara and Emerson wonder how they missed the signs. They decide to unravel why Noelle would kill herself and that leads to a number of surprising revelations, all starting with a single letter to a woman named Anna.

The Midwife's Confession is an emotional story. It's told from a number of viewpoints, including Noelle's, Tara's, Emerson's, Grace's, and Anna's. I didn't find the outcome to be overly shocking, yet I was still glued to the pages. I started reading it on the ride home from Cape Cod and found it made the six hour trip pass in what seems like minutes. It's completely gripping from start to finish.

There's a lot of interesting material for book club discussions in Diane Chamberlain's latest. As a mother, I could understand the differing viewpoints and think the situation when it's revealed would break my heart no matter what side I was on. The Midwife's Confession is heartrending, rewarding, and one of the best books I've read this year.


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