Friday, May 4, 2012

Julie's Review: The Midwife's Confession

Summary: Dear Anna, What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I'm so sorry… The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle's suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle—her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family—described a woman who embraced life. Yet there was so much they didn't know. With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle's friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives—and the life of a desperate stranger—with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit. ~amazon.com

Review: Alice read and reviewed The Midwife's Confession last year and she really enjoyed it, thought I would like it as well, so it ended up on my List Challenge for this year. I've never read anything else by Diane Chamberlain and had heard little about her, so I was pretty much going in blind.

The Midwife's Confession is a roller coaster of an emotional ride. It starts off with a pivotal scene that pulls you in immediately and really never lets you go. I had a range of emotions going on during this book: anger, disgust, sadness and relief. Emerson and Tara have been best friends since the first day of college and now their teenage daughters, who were born a day apart, are the best of friends. Tara and Grace recently lost the patriarch of their family and when Noelle kills herself it unleashes more sadness and hurt. Tara and Grace also have no clue how to relate to each other. Tara keeps wishing for the young girl that she was able to cuddle and hold, while Grace just wishes her mom would leave her alone. 

Emerson is determined to find the reason why Noelle killed herself. How could they have not seen the signs? Did they just ignore them because they saw what they wanted? She become so immersed in the mystery of Noelle that she can't see straight.

There are so many twists and turns in the novel that when I thought I had it figured out Ms. Chamberlain would throw something new at me. This story is about friendship, love, loss and forgiveness. It also examines the "how well do really the people closest to you" question that I think everyone goes through at least once in their life.

I have to say I didn't like Noelle. She really did pretend to be someone she wasn't for a good portion of her life. She betrayed both of her best friends after inserting them into their lives. She was never honest with anyone especially herself. She had this notion of who she was supposed to be but it wasn't who she really needed to be. She thought the only way her friends could forgive her was if she wasn't alive to ask for that forgiveness. How sad is that?

My only issue with the book is that the ending seemed rushed. It was all this build up and then a quick resolution. Not that the resolution had a neat bow because it didn't but it just was finished. I think an epilogue might have helped me with the ending a bit better.

Ms. Chamberlain definitely has a way of writing that pulls you in quickly. I will definitely be seeking out some of her other novels to read in the future.

Final Take: 4.25/5


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2 comments :

Allison May 4, 2012 at 4:03 PM  

It SOUNDS like a good book. I've seen it around but haven't picked it up. I love natural birthing and midwifery so I am rather intrigued. Bummer about the rushed ending, though! :(

stacybuckeye May 9, 2012 at 11:55 PM  

Chamberlain is an author I've been wanting to try and I might even have this one on my shelves somewhere!

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