ISBN: 0-375-70677-1 Page count: 372
It's a cold winter night when Sibyl arrives at the home of the Bedford's to deliver their second child. A midwife for years, she is used to difficult deliveries. But trapped in the house due to a snow storm that has knocked out the phones, Charlotte Bedford's difficult birth turns to tragedy when she dies. With only minutes left, Sibyl decides to perform a c-section to save the baby. Days later, questions arise about whether or not Charlotte was dead when the c-section was performed. Did she die in child birth? Or was she killed by the midwife performing a c-section she was not trained to do?
This story is told from the perspective of Sibyl's daughter who is reflecting back on the time in her childhood when her mother was on trial for the death of a patient. She talks about the ways in which her mother's trial affects her family and the town they live in. Because of the high quality of the writing, it is easy to get into the book and picture yourself living with Sibyl and her family, feeling everything she is feeling, going through what she is going through. At times, the book is quite graphic with depictions of childbirth - which may cause some people to be uncomfortable. Heartfelt and emotion-filled this book is definitely a page turner. It was a selection from Oprah's book club, which believe me, had nothing to do with my decision to read it. However, I have to agree with her that it is definitely worth the read.