The Midwife's Revolt

The Midwife's Revolt

by Jodi Daynard


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On a dark night in 1775, Lizzie Boylston is awakened by the sound of cannons. From a hill south of Boston, she watches as fires burn in Charlestown, in a battle that she soon discovers has claimed her husband’s life.

Alone in a new town, Lizzie grieves privately but takes comfort in her deepening friendship with Abigail Adams. Soon, word spreads of Lizzie’s extraordinary midwifery and healing skills, and she begins to channel her grief into caring for those who need her. But when two traveling patriots are poisoned, Lizzie finds herself with far more complicated matters on her hands—she suspects a political plot intended to harm Abigail and her family. Determined to uncover the truth, Lizzie becomes entangled in a conspiracy that could not only destroy her livelihood—and her chance at finding love again—but also lead to the downfall of a new nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477828007
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 04/07/2015
Series: Midwife , #1
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 133,713
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Jodi Daynard is a writer of fiction, essays, and criticism. Her work has appeared in numerous periodicals, including the New York Times Book Review, the Village Voice, the Paris Review, AGNI, and the New England Review, as well as several anthologies. She is the author of The Place Within: Portraits of the American Landscape by 20 Contemporary Writers and the translator and editor of Gaito Gazdanov’s An Evening with Claire. Daynard’s work has received notable mentions in Best American Essays as well as Pushcart Prize nominations. She has taught writing at Harvard University, at MIT, and in the MFA program at Emerson College.

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The Midwife's Revolt 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
MerryWifeofWindsor More than 1 year ago
Lizzie Boylston, our heroine stands on the threshold of her home as she watches her husband, Jeb, depart for war. There is a sense of foreboding that seems to plague her about her husband leaving, especially during a difficult time. She wants to stop him from going but knows that she is powerless to do so. Before the battle takes place, Lizzie officially meets her husband's relative, Abigail Adams as well as her children, a balm on a most painful wound. Abigail is a very down-to-earth, sensible woman who appears to be the rock for everyone in the community, Lizzie especially. She soon learns that he In the weeks that follow, Lizzie takes in a young woman, Martha Miller, who functions as a servant as well as a companion. Martha is a quiescent and secretive young woman, who seems suspicious in more ways than one. Presented to her as a staunch loyalist, Lizzie begins to suspect that Martha may be a spy for the British. She seems to take the young woman into her home not merely as a means of alleviating her sorrow but also as a means of charity. Through Martha we meet her older brother, Thomas Miller, a young man who is every bit as suspicious as his relation. There is something about him that Lizzie can't quite put her finger on. While he isn't incredibly attractive, there is something about Thomas that Lizzie cannot help but be dazzled by. She runs into him not only in Braintree but in Cambridge, when she goes to visit her old homestead in the city. More and more she happens upon Thomas, who seems to be hanging out in loyalist locations, appearing to be more suspicious than ever. This was an absolutely fantastic read! Jodi Daynard did a wonderful job setting the scene for “The Midwife's Revolt” and the characters were wonderfully fleshed out. It seemed like each character in one way or another had a multi-faceted nature to them. The depiction of the war was interesting and it kept me, as the reader, on the edge of my seat, wondering along with Lizzie who the spies were. From her cool manner to shooting at crows with rifles to her donning the clothing of a man, Lizzie was a vastly enjoyable heroine. She seemed like she fit perfectly in the eighteenth century and it was interesting to witness her thought process. Jodi Daynard's treatment of historical figures was respectful and vague, keeping them at a distance but also making them believable enough. It is apparent that the writer did a great deal of research in writing this novel and it truly shows. As someone who makes a big to-do about historical accuracy, I was immensely impressed with her handling of the eighteenth century. The twists and turns in the book were very fun and really caused me to think. However, I will admit that some twists I saw coming from a mile away but that did not in anyway ruin the story. Lastly, I would like to point out the lovely Author's Note in the back, which really was the icing on the cake. In this note, the author explains in detail how she went about writing her story and the research required in doing so. It really brought the story to life for me, to hear her explain the hows, the whats, and the whys. ** **
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed The Midwife's Revolt. I was pleasantly surprised how great it is. I loved how it is set during the Revolutionary War and was captivated from the beginning with the story. It was quite fascinating to have the main characters interacting with John and Abigail Adams.  Great book! 5 plus stars.
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
Historical fiction quite often speaks to me, and this book certainly did that. I know a lot about American history, and yet I don't in some ways. I would say that I know a lot of facts, but there is something about personalizing the stories to make history come alive. The thing that continued to strike me in this story is what our forefathers and their families gave up for this great nation of ours. They didn't look to the government for handouts, and they believed in a balanced government. They gave up their place in society back in England and learned to get by as needed. I have to admit I wondered how John Adams would feel about where our country is today. I am happy to report that there is no profanity in the book nor bedroom scenes. The writing style of the book is reminiscent of classic books, and there are times my interest waned. Notwithstanding, this book tells a fantastic story with a bit of mystery and espionage. If you want to read a book that will truly remind you of the principles upon which the U.S. was built and how hard the early settlers had to fight for lasting freedom. About the time you think you're going to be bored, the author throws in a twist that you probably won't see coming. It is truly a delight to read! I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
book4children More than 1 year ago
This was a really interesting look at a side of revolutionary war that we don't get to see very often. It was told from the perspective of a young war widow as she struggles to survive alone on her farm after her husband is killed in battle. She doesn't stay alone the entire book, and she makes some wonderful friends throughout the course of the book. She becomes very good friends with Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams. I loved reading about these women and their fears, struggles, and strengths as they contributed everything they had to the Cause. They endangered their own lives in an effort to gain intelligence and make a difference. They went through so much, I just can't imagine living the way they did. They worked themselves to the bone and had to go without real wheat flour, sugar, or tea. They only ate what they could grow, yet they had to sacrifice so much to the Cause. They were so brave! The book was written in a very distinct voice, and I grew to love Lizzie. I laughed, cried, and mourned with her. I loved the mystery surrounding the murdered men, Mr. Cleverly, and Thomas. I literally screamed, "I knew it" and " Down with the Tories!" when got close to the end. Some parts were a bit dry, but I still really enjoyed this book. It was clean and very very interesting.
AnastaciaKnits More than 1 year ago
I received this book as part of a book tour - a book tour that unfortunately was forgotten about, in the midst of everything going on with Jon. I had started reading the book before he got hurt, but had to start from the beginning again when it came time to finish & write the review. My apologies to the author & to the rest of the book tour - there's a reason why I seldom sign up for tours ;/. This historical fiction book is about midwife Lizzie Boylston and her friendship with Abigail Adams - yes, that Abigail Adams! As such, this book is a bit unique - it's about the founding mother's of our country, not the founding fathers. The book is excellently written, beginning with being introduced to Lizzie and her husband, who she very shortly loses. She is distantly related to Abigail through her husband's side of the family and after she loves Jeb, she begins to become closer to the Adams family. The surrounding ladies at first don't take kindly to Lizzie, whose father was a Tory judge, but she proves to everyone she knows her stuff, and they soon accept her as one of them. I don't want to say more than that, and spoil the book for yourself. It's well written, the characters are great - I was pleased to see that there wasn't a hundred characters to keep track of!, and the story moves at a great pace, though (for me) got a little slow in between the storyline/characters being established, and when the events really starting getting going. Why 4 stars? As much as I greatly enjoyed reading about Lizzie (and reading about a time & place I don't often read about), I didn't really fall in love with any of the characters, and that's what truly defines a 5 star book for me. All in all, this book is great and fast read.
MariaD1 More than 1 year ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a blog tour in exchange for a fair and honest review. As a lover of both history and historical fiction, I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to read and review Jodi Daynard's The Midwife's Revolt. While a fictional tale, Ms. Daynard's blending of fictional and real characters, along with fictional and real events, gives us a unique perspective into the lives of women during the American Revolution. While much has been written about our Founding Fathers, little attention has been paid to the strength, fortitude and sacrifices made by both their wives and the wives of the average soldier. At the beginning of this book we are introduced to Elizabeth Boylston, a young woman distantly related to Abigail and John Adams. The daughter of a gentlewoman, trained in the art of midwifery, and a judge, Elizabeth is attractive, intelligent and somewhat of a liberal thinker. Also taught the art of midwifery, Elizabeth is a young girl when her mother passes away due to illness. Left alone for long periods of time, Elizabeth is finally granted a tutor, a man who further instills her love of learning by teaching her to read Latin and Greek, something her father and brother both fear could turn away possible suitors. Fortunate in her choice of suitors, Elizabeth marries Jeb, a fellow patriotic thinker, and soon finds herself alone on their farm when Jeb heads off to fight in the American Revolution. While Elizabeth, or "Lizzie", misses her husband terribly, they're both supporters of independence. Unfortunately Jeb is killed at the battle of Bunker Hill and Elizabeth now finds herself running the farm on her own. Soon Elizabeth becomes friends with Abigail Adams, another woman considered unusual due to her wit and intelligence. Realizing she's met a kindred spirit, and fellow believer in a woman's ability to do more than sew and cook, Abigail soon spreads the word about Elizabeth's talents as both a midwife and a homeopathic practitioner. As Elizabeth tends to the woman in town and the neighboring communities, she watches, and comments, on the daily struggles these women go through as they care for their homes and families, while their men are at war. A plain spoken woman with a "take charge" attitude, Elizabeth is exactly the kind of woman these women, and our country, needed during the Revolutionary War and formative years. As the war continues, Elizabeth and Abigail's friendship flourishes and we see just how remarkable Abigail Adams was. We also see Elizabeth continuing to place herself in danger, both by traveling during the war to care for her patients and by actively choosing to become involved in the war. Dressing and masquerading as a man, Elizabeth helps the war effort by going into taverns frequented by British soldier's and reporting on what she manages to overhear. Ms. Daynard does an excellent job developing both Elizabeth and Abigail's characters. Portraying them both as ordinary people, Ms. Daynard shows us the different relationships and needs women develop throughout their lives. Giving us insight into what society expected of women at the time, Ms. Daynard's women also show their desire for change and freedom by urging John Adams to "Remember the Ladies" when setting up our new government. They were suffragettes before their time. Will Elizabeth get caught while spying on the British? Will she be courageous enough to open her heart to another man's love at the end of the war? I encourage you to read The Midwife's Revolt. I sure wish this book had been around when I had to study American history.
gaele More than 1 year ago
The seamless integration of historical events and people of interest in the early years of the American Revolution, and the strikingly detailed and portrayed fictional character of Lizzie Boylston in the writer’s well-written prose made this book a joy to read, and very difficult to put down.  Lizzie is a unique character and not just for 17th century New England. Her strength, courage and plain-spoken manner, as well as her ‘take charge’ attitude feel wholly and completely modern: her willingness to flout convention and place herself in great danger to protect her friends and satisfy her own curiosity were refreshing, if nail-biting to read.  Particularly effective is the life-long friendship with Abagail Adams, and the friendship and support the two shared through the years.  In the cleverly portrayed relationship, we see the strength of these two women, and readers will find many correlations to concerns of a more modern day.  This is one of those books that has you wishing all history courses were presented in this form: giving a real sense of the trials and challenges faced by the people of the time. Fiction can open new vistas, and provide a new level of understanding of a situation: whether done wholly from the author’s imagination or utilizing real facts and historical references to enhance the story in which their character is starring.  Jodi Daynard managed to both enhance Lizzie’s story with fact, and enhance fact with this story of Lizzie.   I received an eBook from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.  
Mirella More than 1 year ago
Author Jody Daynard’s historical novel, The Midwife’s Revolt, takes us deep into the heart of America at the start of the American Revolution. It was a time of turmoil with strong sentiments for independence and freedom from England’s rule. Through the eyes of Lizzie Boylston, a young widow and midwife from an upper class who married a man of lesser means, the politics and emotions of time come alive. By virtue of her role as a midwife and her idealistic support for the revolutionist cause, Lizzie finds herself embroiled with the people and causes that began and organized the revolt. Although the novel begins slowly, the story soon gains momentum and becomes truly engaging, for it is a beautifully written tale with a compelling narrative. The heroine is compelling, not only because of her struggles and desperate circumstances, but for her boldness, wisdom, honesty, and compassion regardless of who she is aiding. There were periods of humor as well as drama throughout. This is very much a novel about the women during this tumultuous period in history, an important perspective to gain a well-rounded understanding.