Rated Reads

The Midwife’s Confession

by Diane Chamberlain

Rated: Moderate

Tara and Emerson are shocked when their dear friend Noelle commits suicide. The women had been friends since their college years, and they had never seen any sign that Noelle was depressed or upset over anything. Noelle was a free-spirited midwife who had committed her life to making the world a better place and doing good for others, particularly the most defenseless.

The whole situation is particularly difficult for Tara, whose husband was killed in a car accident just months before. As she’s struggling with her grief over her husband, she is also trying to address the needs of a teenage daughter who is not communicating with her.

To bring some closure, Tara and Emerson decide that they must unravel the mystery of what caused Noelle’s untimely death. As they begin probing her life, asking questions of friends and Noelle’s co-workers and looking through the log books of her many deliveries, they find secrets galore. The two friends are upset to learn that they never knew Noelle as well as they thought and hurt that she didn’t share with them what she was really doing in her life.

Worst is the discovery of a letter Noelle wrote to a mystery woman but never finished or sent. The letter contains a shocking revelation of a deed that rocks the friends to their cores. They find themselves intent on finding out who the letter’s intended recipient is, but as they do start solving the mystery, they realize that it has become very personal — their own lives will be forever changed.

Diane Chamberlain crafts a gripping novel that I simply couldn’t put down. The revelations could easily have become melodramatic, but she mostly manages to keep the book from becoming maudlin. The Midwife’s Confession is a highly compelling read.

Rated: Moderate. There are two uses of strong language and some other instances of mild and moderate language. There are two sex scenes that are quite brief but moderately detailed.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for about 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • The Midwife’s Confession
  • by Diane Chamberlain
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: