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Midwives
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
88 posts | 128 read | 83 to read
"Superbly crafted and astonishingly powerful. . . . It will thrill readers who cherish their worn copies of To Kill A Mockingbird." --People With a suspense, lyricism, and moral complexity that recall To Kill a Mockingbird and Presumed Innocent, this compulsively readable novel explores what happens when a woman who has devoted herself to ushering life into the world finds herself charged with responsibility in a patient's tragic death. The time is 1981, and Sibyl Danforth has been a dedicated midwife in the rural community of Reddington, Vermont, for fifteen years. But one treacherous winter night, in a house isolated by icy roads and failed telephone lines, Sibyl takes desperate measures to save a baby's life. She performs an emergency Caesarean section on its mother, who appears to have died in labor. But what if--as Sibyl's assistant later charges--the patient wasn't already dead, and it was Sibyl who inadvertently killed her? As recounted by Sibyl's precocious fourteen-year-old daughter, Connie, the ensuing trial bears the earmarks of a witch hunt except for the fact that all its participants are acting from the highest motives--and the defendant increasingly appears to be guilty. As Sibyl Danforth faces the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience, Midwives engages, moves, and transfixes us as only the very best novels ever do. BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Chris Bohjalian's The Light in the Ruins.
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MrsMalaprop
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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Pickpick

Read this in Bali, which was a rather contrasting setting! I‘ve seen the author here on Litsy and thought it was about time I read one of his books. I found this copy on my mum‘s shelves as we were clearing out her house recently.

I liked it. A good holiday read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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ChrisBohjalian
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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This is the apartment house in Burlington, Vermont where I revised my first novel in a furnished room on the second floor. Memories. #whyilovethe802 #books #amwriting (still) #tbt #throwbackthursday @DoubledayBooks

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Clare-Dragonfly
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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Amiable My favorite Bohjalian book of all. 👍🏼 3mo
Clare-Dragonfly @Amiable That‘s good to hear! I had a vague idea that I‘d heard good things about him on Litsy, and I love reading about midwives, so I figured it was a good bet 3mo
30 likes2 comments
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Allthingsbooks
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
Pickpick

One of my favorites by this author. Loved the characters and the Vermont setting.

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MoBee
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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Sounds like a good mystery, starting this today

44 likes1 stack add
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ChrisBohjalian
Midwives | Christopher A. Bohjalian
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It was 20 years ago this week that Oprah Winfrey picked MIDWIVES for her Book Club -- one of the greatest professional blessings of my life. Thank you again, Oprah. Thank you for celebrating day-in and day-out what words and reading and books can mean to the soul. #Honored #Grateful

Lcsmcat This was the first book of yours that I read. Not because of Oprah, but because the premise intrigued me. 13mo
Megabooks What a great milestone! Congratulations. Well deserved 👏🏻👏🏻 13mo
Amiable I loved this book. My mother-in-law lived near Newport, VT, for many years --it was wonderful to be able to picture the scenes in my head. 13mo
Graciouswarriorprincess This is the book that got me to start reading your work. 13mo
48 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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huntersmom1977
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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Bailedbailed

This book just dragged

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BookaholicNatty
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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Yessss!!!! This is so good!!! It captured me right from the very beginning and I‘m enjoying it immensely!!!!!! @Dana1084 this was a wonderful pick!!!! I‘m totally absorbed in this book! All other chores are being put on hold 🤪😂 I know there are probably a TON of Littens who love this book too! And if you haven‘t read it go go go!!!! We need to get ready to pick our next round of books! Anyone already picked theirs?

Mrs_Organized_Chaos No! I am still trying to decide what to pick. I have a shelf full of books and cannot make up my mind. 1y
Samplergal One of my favorites. 1y
LitLogophile I really loved Midwives, so much! I also just love reading about the criminal court system🤓. I‘m thinking of going with my backup pick from Rd 1, let me know what you think!! (Also, I figured I‘d send out my next book and TRP together.) 1y
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BookaholicNatty Sounds great @LitLogophile I haven‘t read Reincarnation Blues so that‘s great for me!! Let us know what you are thinking @Mrs_Organized_Chaos so we can see if any of us have read it. What about you @Dana1084 any pick ideas yet? I will pick one out tomorrow and see if you all have read it! 1y
Lcsmcat My first Bohjalian, and the “gateway” that lead me to many wonderful novels. 1y
MaGoose Haven't read any of his books yet. Heard him give a great speech at a writer's conference in NJ last month. Must start reading his stuff. 1y
BookaholicNatty @MaGoose oh my goodness he was in NJ and I missed it!!!!!! What part of NJ?? 1y
MaGoose @BookaholicNatty Chris Bohjalian and Alice Hoffman were both keynote speakers at the 2nd annual Rutgers Writers Conference held in Somerset, NJ, over the the first weekend in June 2018. 1y
BookaholicNatty @MaGoose that sounds awesome!!!!! 1y
MaGoose @BookaholicNatty Yes, I had never heard of him before. Both he and Ms. Hoffman will be on my TBR list from now on. 1y
Dana1084 I‘m so glad you liked it! It took me awhile to warmup to it, and I got nervous, but then I was HOOKED! 😊 1y
116 likes10 stack adds11 comments
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BookaholicNatty
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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This came in the mail today!!!! Woooohoooo!!! My final #LMPBC read!!!(Well until we start Round #3) 😂Today was my final day of my summer Microbiology class and this was a great thing to come home to @Mrs_Organized_Chaos now I will have sooooo much time to read and catch up!!! I‘m literally jumping for joy that i can stay up late tonight and READ READ READ!!! Finishing up The Elegance of the Hedgehog first! This will be a little late @Dana1084

LitLogophile Loved this one so much!!! I‘m currently obsessed with The Rosie Project 😍 1y
Crazeedi Really enjoyed this one!❤️ 1y
DivineDiana This was a good read! ❤️ 1y
Dana1084 Thank goodness im@not the only one a bit behind 🙈!! @LitLogophile I‘ll be finishing fabulous Bel Canto and sending it back to ya ASAP 😊 1y
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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
Pickpick

Absolutely loved this book!! This book will most definitely keep you up reading into the early hours of the morning after picking it up the evening before. This book has it all: love, suspense, nail biting nervousness and elation!! Will definitely be reading more Chris Bohjalian novels love when an introduction to an author spawns an array of ravenous reading!! CHECK OUT THIS BOOK! RUN TO LIBRARY OR BOOKSTORE NOW #Midwives #fiction #ChrisBohjalian

Samplergal One of my favorites! 1y
RadicalReader @Samplergal definitely looking forward to more of his novels and then watching the film adaptions of : Midwives, Secrets of Eden and Past the Bleachers 1y
AmyG This will always be my favorite of his books. 1y
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RadicalReader @AmyG the book couldn‘t have been more accurately described “ this book will keep you up reading hours into the night” 1y
knittedgnome I just put this on hold! So excited to read this because of your review. 1y
RadicalReader @knittedgnome no problem I‘m always here to offer rich and detailed book advice in the form of reviews. 1y
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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

“ Were you present at the autopsy?” “ No.” “ Did you examine Charlotte‘s medical records after she died?” “ No.” “ Have you ever examined her at any point in her pregnancy?” “ Nope.” “ You really then have no idea,then, what you‘re talking about, do you?” #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian #fiction

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RadicalReader
Midwives | Christopher A. Bohjalian

“ Were the labors easy? Hard? Somewhere in between?” “ They were easy for me,” Mr. Goodyear said, “ I was at my wife‘s sister‘s house eating dinner one time and in the waiting room with both our families at the other.” #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian #fiction

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

“ I‘m your first.” “ You‘re my first” “I‘m flattered.” “ An old lady like me can flatter you? God, you‘ve been divorced too long.” “ How old are you?” “ Thirty-Four.” “ A mere babe in the woods.” “ Oh, I don‘t think so. I‘m definitely too old to throw around expressions like ‘ old lady‘ and ‘ old man‘ the way I once did.” #fiction #midwives #ChrisBohjalian

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

Just because my mother didn‘t want me to hear what she and Stephen were saying didn‘t mean that I didn‘t want to listen #ChrisBohjalian #fiction #midwives

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

“ but neither of us should be spinning cartwheels on the lawn.” I hasn‘t done a cartwheel in five or six years, and I couldn‘t imagine that my mother had done one in decades, but I kept the thought to myself. #ChrisBohjalian #fiction #midwives

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

“ Promise?”she asked again, a reference to the vow she‘d asked me to make when I turned thirteen that if I ever thought there was even the slightest chance I might be having sex in the foreseeable future- even if that chance was as statistically remote as being hit by lightening in late December. #ChrisBohjalian #Midwives #fiction

SledgeReader @RadicalReader #ChrisBohjahlian is a go to author for me. Love his books! Midwives is the tops! 1y
RadicalReader @SledgeReader I do love this book he captures the characters so creativity and looking forward to reading his two other books that have been transformed into films and then binging the films after finishing the other two books 1y
SledgeReader @RadicalReader That‘s a great idea!! Thanks for sharing! 1y
RadicalReader @SledgeReader you‘re more than welcome I have always found it to be a bookworms treat when you can enjoy the movie the book has inspired and even better when authors make cameos in them 1y
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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

Whenever we saw a young woman in Vermont who was mind numbingly overdressed for our little state, one of us would whisper to the other,” Over there- some rich guy‘s mistress,” drawing out the word rich until it became almost two syllables; richhhhh. #Fiction #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

I knew, Dr. Hewitt‘s first name was Brian, but I had never heard him referred to as anything but B.P. Although he was more than a decade older than my parents, he still wore the nickname well he‘d been given in medical school: B.P., a natural for a man hoping to become a doctor, whose first and middle initials were the abbreviation for blood pressure. #ChrisBohjalian #fiction #Midwives

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

“ Maybe. I don‘t know. I was just wondering whether he heard the story first from you, or from that… that creep who met you at the emergency room with the baby The one who said all those ridiculous things to the newspapers. Drumond. Doctor Drumond.” He said the word doctor as if he thought the fellow had earned his medical degree by mail, as if he found the school on the inside of a matchbook cover. #fiction #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

On the quieter nights he might simply remark,” She can‘t keep a husband because she can‘t shut up!” But when he was particularly disgusted or he‘d had an extra scotch during dinner, I might hear him raise his voice as he said,” We have enough stress in our lives without her! The next time she shows up and won‘t leave, call me. Call me and I‘ll sleep at the damn office.” #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian #Fiction

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

A sterile little world with bright hospital lights? A world where forceps replace fingers! Where women get IVs and epidurals instead of herbs? Sure, we can cut down the risk, but we also cut off a lot of touching and loving and just plain human connection. No one said living isn‘t a pretty chancy business, Sibyl. No one gets out of here alive.” #Fiction #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

There are no sure things in this universe, and it‘s absolutely ridiculous to try and live like there are! There‘s nothing that drives me crazier than when people say home birth is chancy or irresponsible or risky. My God, so what if it is? Which in my opinion, of course, it isn‘t. What‘s the price of attempting to eliminate chance, or trying to better the odds? #Fiction #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

“ Don‘t get involved with that new fellow on Creamery Street- I hear a lot of mud was scraped off his floor after the divorce. Don‘t have your baby at home- there‘s a chance something could go wrong. Don‘t, don‘t, don‘t … Well, you can‘t live your life like that! You can‘t spend your entire life avoiding chance. It‘s out there, it‘s inescapable, it‘s a part of the soul of the world. #fiction #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

“ Chance is the strangest word in the world isn‘t it? Cheryl might begin, speaking slowly at first but gathering momentum like an obese teenager on skis. l One syllable, six letters. It‘s a noun, it‘s a verb. Change one letter and it‘s an adjective. And everything about it scares the bejesus out of so many people, it‘s this thing they try to avoid at all costs. Don‘t travel to the Middle East these days- there‘s a chance something could happen!”

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

She could tell whole stories without so much as a pause. It drove my father crazy, just as it probably drove most men in Cheryl‘s life away In my experience, men aren‘t particularly good listeners, and to be around Cheryl for any length of time demanded patience, passivity, and an insatiable interest in Cheryl Visco‘s life #Fiction #ChrisBohjalian #Midwives

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

Moreover, these were not the sort of mannered little squeezes society matrons of youthful debutantes might share at dining clubs or cotillions in Manhattan; there were emphatic bear hugs of impressively long duration. These were the sort of decorum-be-damned greetings that begin with arms opened like wings, which then close around one like a straitjacket. #ChrisBohjalian #fiction #Midwives

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

My mother and the other midwives sometimes called him Ol Doctor Forceps and the Electrolux Man- a reference to the skull- cap like vacuum physicians such as Dumond would apply to the infant‘s cranium to help pull the child from the vagina- because he was so quick to make baby skulls look like turnips with his delivery room toys #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian #fiction

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

I heard the robin outside the kitchen window, back to beat up on his reflection #fiction #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

Anne would insist she went with Asa for different reasons at different times. Once it was because she couldn‘t bear to stay in the room with the dead woman. Once it was because she was afraid to stay in the room with my mother. My mother suddenly seemed insane to her. #fiction #ChrisBohjalian #Midwives

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

My mother was a midwife and he was not, my mother knew CPR and he did not my mother was in charge. And he was not. #fiction #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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Asa had moved between his wife‘s legs to catch the child, while Anne and my mother were at her sides , holding her. Abruptly, while struggling in the midst of a contraction, Charlotte‘s chin shot is from her chest as she pushed with whatever energy she had left, she opened her eyes, and the exhaled a small squeal. Her husband saw her eyes roll up , then close. My mother and Anne felt the body grow limp in their arms as Charlotte lost consciousness

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
This post contains spoilers
show me

She imagined the intracranial pressure of Charlotte‘s exertions has caused a small vessel inside the poor woman‘s brain to burst #ChrisBohjalian #fiction #Midwives

LitLogophile Loved this one! 2y
RadicalReader Such an awesome book it definitely lives up to the Bestseller standards in my eyes and also to every review I have read of this book 2y
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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

He loved it. Like his mother, he had white, almost translucent skin, but he had Asa‘s red hair and round head. He was a sweet boy, but ugly as they came. #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian #fiction

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

“ Fox! Box! Boston Red Sox!” “ I was sent for the rent on the polka dot tent” #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian #fiction

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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Midwives
The library at my elementary school
Mornings because too hot to be outside
Tales of a Forth Grade Nothing, Super Fudge and Fudge a Mania #manicmonday @JoScho

JoScho 📚😊❤️ 2y
Samplergal ❤️ Midwives. Are you enjoying it? 2y
RadicalReader @Samplergal never chuckled so much while reading a book which can only mean one thing… share the glorious quotes on lovely Litsy 2y
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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

Reception in our part of Vermont was laughably poor. I remember a day one spring- when the baseball season had begun and the hockey seasons were in the midst of their endless playoffs - when my father was watching a basketball game through so much screen snow and fuzz that my mother sat down on the couch beside him, thumbed through a magazine for five or ten minutes, then looked up and inquired, “ What sport is this?”) #Fiction #ChrisBohjalian

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

Only ducks should be quacks #Fiction #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian

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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

“ A hospital is like an infant car seat : If something unexpected should occur and there‘s some kind of collision, we have the tools to pull the baby out of the oven,” one doctor insisted, mixing metaphors and mistaking a woman‘s uterus for a kitchen appliance from Sears #Midwives #ChrisBohjalian #Fiction

Eggs 😂😂 2y
17 likes1 comment
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Samplergal
Midwives | Christopher A. Bohjalian
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#7favesin7days. ❤️❤️❤️7/7
Loved this book.

CaitlinR If you haven‘t read it, I think you‘d love Sandcastle Girls. Wonderful. 2y
Samplergal Thanks. I‘ll look into it. #blameitonLitsy 2y
lauraodom This one has been on my TBR pile forever! 2y
Samplergal Put it towards the top! It‘s so good. 2y
blondie Now I regret giving this one away! 2y
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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

Lori‘s panting, and the way her husband and her sister would lean over and pant beside her, a trio of adults who seemed to be hyperventilating #Fiction #ChrisBohjalian

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Soubhiville
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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#7favesin7days day 5 of 7

(Consider yourself tagged if you‘d like!
Post 7 all time favorites over 7 days, no explination needed. Started by @lauren.lerner )

DivineDiana I really liked this book! 👍🏻 2y
RadicalReader @Soubhiville I love this book and can‘t read it quick enough but it‘s such a good novel I don‘t want to finish it 😂😂 2y
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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

If anyone should feel shame for whatever occurred that moment in a small courthouse in northeastern Vermont, in my mind it‘s the jury: Amidst, my sobs and wails, people have said that I pleaded aloud, “ Look at us! Oh God, please, please look at us!” and still not one of the jurors would even glance in my mother‘s or my direction

hissingpotatoes Don't know context and that's still a chilling quote. 2y
RadicalReader @hissingpotatoes chilling quotes demand to be shared 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 (edited) 2y
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RadicalReader
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian

Can‘t wait to start this incredible thrilling novel nothing like doubting your skills and mindset when someone causes you to feel you‘re at fault and one hundred percent responsible for the results that accompany #Thriller #Suspense #ChrisBohjalian #Books #Mystery #Fiction

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Mrs_Organized_Chaos
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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I have been trying to finish this book for days. It never fails, I pick it up o read and get just under 1 million interruptions. I have a couple of hours to myself so I may finally finish it.

Mrs_Organized_Chaos All I can say is WOW! That ending was like a punch to the gut! @BookaholicNatty @Dana1084 @LitLogophile 2y
LitLogophile Isn‘t it incredible ?! 2y
RadicalReader @Mrs_Organized_Chaos you have the most awesome username in the known universe!! I wish you success on finishing this incredible novel even though I‘m only on the second chapter 😂 2y
Mrs_Organized_Chaos @RadicalReader Thanks! My username pretty much sums up my life as a working mother of three kiddos! 2y
RadicalReader @Mrs_Organized_Chaos I always get the mental image of someone putting uncontrolled chaos into the corner then sternly stating “ you can come out when you learn to control yourself” 2y
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BookBridget
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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Pickpick

Great book! Somehow I started this several times over the years and never finished it; glad that I read this all,the way through. It's set in 1980 but didn't seem dated at all. Great read📓📓📑📑📑

RadicalReader @BookBridget never had so many chuckles in a book unexpectedly 2y
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Mrs_Organized_Chaos
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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This came in the mail yesterday so it went with me to our softball game just in case i had some free time. #lmpbc @LitLogophile @Dana1084 @BookaholicNatty

Dana1084 I hope you like it! I can‘t put “The Rosie Project” down! 😊 2y
BookaholicNatty Hahahahahahaha you just got it yesterday didn‘t you @Dana1084 😂😂😂 I was like that too tho!! And @Mrs_Organized_Chaos my book always goes with me to the baseball field too!!!! 2y
LitLogophile Glad it made it! 2y
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HighLadyoftheStacks
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
Pickpick

A simple, but incredible story!

RadicalReader @HighLadyoftheStacks I can‘t get enough of this book seriously wanting to read all the other works by this wonderful amazing author 2y
6 likes1 comment
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HighLadyoftheStacks
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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@BookaholicNatty Sent this today! Thanks so much for organizing the swap! #FunintheSunSummerBookSwap

BookaholicNatty @HighLadyoftheStacks yay!!!!!! Thank you for being so prompt!!!!! Appreciate it more than you know! ❤️😘🌞 2y
15 likes1 comment
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LitLogophile
Midwives: A Novel | Chris Bohjalian
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On its way @Mrs_Organized_Chaos !! Let me know when you get it 😊 #lmpbc #groupi

BookaholicNatty Yay!!!!! ❤️😍😘 2y
Mrs_Organized_Chaos I am ready for it! Until then I will start to make my way through Gone With The Wind (edited) 2y
53 likes2 comments