Friday, 25 July 2014

The Midwife's Confession


Author: Diane Chamberlain
Genre: Modern Fiction
Type: Trade Paperback
Source: Own - Second-hand bookstore
Publisher: MIRA Books
First Published: 2011
First Line: "Wilmington, North Carolina - September 2010 ---She sat on the top step of the front porch of her Sunset Park bungalow, leaning against the post, her eyes on the full moon."

Book Description from GoodReads
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.
My Review:  This is the third book by Diane Chamberlain that I've read over the past two or so years and it falls somewhere in between the two other books of hers (The Good Father and Secret Lives) that I've read.

Chamberlains books, in my experience, tend to be good reads even if they are a bit predictable at times.  Her writing is good and she handles different narrators well even as the story flips back and forth between the present and past. Even her characters were fairly well written and overall pretty believable with the teen daughter/mother angst being especially poignant among the three mom/daughter groups. 

Unfortunately, my love for this book began to wane when I was expected to suspend reality further than I was willing.  There are quite a few coincidences that are just too far-fetched to be believable.  And while this is a sad book with more than its fair share of tragedies I didn't understand why the addition of the superfluous love triangle was necessary. 

There was a good twist that I didn't anticipate towards the end but the book just didn't have as much energy as I was hoping for.  Tying up all the loose ends at the end of the book didn't endear me to this book either because it just upped the unbelievable factor that much more.  Honestly, I think that Chamberlain was trying for a Jodi Picoult-type read (moral dilemmas, loads of tension and twists) but this book just didn't quite make it. 

Obviously this was not my favourite Diane Chamberlain novel but I have not given up on her for a good, casual read and I look forward to reading her Necessary Lies which has been sitting on my book shelf for quite some time.  Overall the book was a little predictable and sad with its various tragedies but Chamberlain kept me engaged and The Midwife's Confession could make for a good, casual escapist-type summer read.

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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