by Jodi Daynard
- File Size: 685 KB
- Print Length: 440 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 2, 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00AHJ5J00
Genre: Historical Fiction, American Revolution
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0
Publication Date: December 2, 2012
The Midwife’s Revolt takes the reader on a journey to the founding days of America. It follows one woman’s path, Lizzie Boylston, from her grieving days of widowhood after Bunker Hill, to her deepening friendship with Abigail Adams and midwifery, and finally to her dangerous work as a spy for the Cause. A novel rich in historical detail, The Midwife’s Revolt opens a window onto the real lives of colonial women.
"A charming, unexpected, and decidedly different view of the Revolutionary War."
-- Publishers Weekly
This humorous, exciting and touching story retells the familiar saga of the Revolutionary War in a stunning new way that feels fresh and alive."
-- Kirkus Indie Reviews
Lizzie's father was a British Judge and her mother taught her healing arts, particularly midwifery. Lizzie married young Jeb who was from another staunch British family. The young couple were determined to succeed on their small farm which was a gift to Jeb from an uncle of Abigail Adams. They live in the community of Braintree outside of Cambridge, Massachusetts. With illustrious neighbors such as the Quincys and the Adams, the couple soon found themselves entrenched for the cause of American freedom.
Lizzie is dedicated and firm but gentle and thorough in her care of young mothers giving birth as well as the elderly facing their last moments. Lizzie becomes a war widow and garners support and friendship from ‘political widow’ Abigail whom she deeply respects.
Another orphaned young woman, Martha, joins Lizzie’s household to help with chores and duties as a midwife. While Lizzie doesn’t know if her younger brother lives, Martha’s older brother, a charming man, is believed to be working for the Loyalist cause. Lizzie may feel attraction for Thomas but she can not fall in love with her political enemy.
Lizzie is not content to sit quietly when she discovers patriots have been murdered in her small community. She disguises herself as an errand boy so she spy in a loyalist tavern in spite of the grave danger.
This story begins with beautiful nostalgia at the time of Abigail Adams’ death. It proceeds with Lizzie’s recounting of hardship and deprivation from 1775 through 1778. Lizzie shares her day to day living as well as many philosophical thoughts on love, death, war, and the very nature--kind and evil--of men. The writing is superbly detailed with rich images full of sight, touch and smell. I felt that I was right there beside Lizzie as she struggled with her physical labors and hard winters, and as she grappled with her tender sentimentality that she attempts to keep hidden.
The plot includes treachery, mystery, intrigue, and betrayal. There are families torn by society snobbery and racial slavery. There are friendships strained by suspicion and exhaustion. There is fascinating detail of midwife skills and daily industry of surviving in colonial America. There is caring, forgiving and loving.
I blinked back tears before I was 10% into the story. The story also evoked anger, laughter, sadness and joy as I marveled at the remarkable portrayal of these stalwart women who supported the men who fought for the birth of America. The title could have more than one meaning as one reads of Lizzie’s brave efforts to spy for the cause but also as she denies emotions that try to rise in her own heart.
Ms. Daynard states in her author’s notes: “If a historical novel does its job, the reader will be hard pressed to know where fact leaves off and fiction begins.” (Location 4678.) Thank you Ms. Daynard for doing a wonderful job of entertaining with fact and fiction that seemed all real to me.
If you enjoy American history, don’t miss this interesting view from the perspective of colonial women. If you are a fan of strong heroines -- healers and caregivers who will not give in or give up -- then you will want to read the story of these wonderful women with glimpses of the real Abigail Adams. If you are a fan of historical fiction in general, I encourage you to enjoy this excellent story.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Here are two of the many passages I really like:
“Being of some use”defined our lives that year. It became increasingly necessary to use one’s energy and wits to find clever ways to subsist when provisions could not be had. Sugar, flour and labor were now entirely out of reach. Location 1177.
In the smaller spaces of the broad canvas I paint, the quiet drama of personal life and death continued apace. Location 2657.
I am extremely glad that I picked this up through NetGalley.This story is set in Braintree, Massachusetts for my 2013 Where Are You Reading Challenge.
I loved this story so much that I want to share by offering two eBooks, Kindle or Nook, to commenters on this post.
ENTRY REQUIRES COMMENT
a) Share why you think would like to read this book.
b) Visit the author's website and tell me something you find there of interest.
2 Extra entries if you share the giveaway in any fashion - FB, Twitter, blog sidebar or even email a friend. Share the link in a comment below or email me with the info if you don't want to share all of it in a comment. Send to mesreadsATgmail.com
(Total possible entries per person = 4)
* This contest is open WORLDWIDE.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on March 15, 2013.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
WINNER(S) WILL BE ANNOUNCED on March 16, 2013.
Winners are asked to respond by email or the linked winners form within 72 hours of the announcement.