The Last Midwife by Sandra Dallas

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The Last Midwife by Sandra Dallas
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Historical, Mystery/Suspense, Women’s Fiction
Length: Full Length (353 pgs)
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

It is 1880 and Gracy Brookens is the only midwife in a small Colorado mining town where she has delivered hundreds, maybe thousands, of babies in her lifetime. The women of Swandyke trust and depend on Gracy, and most couldn’t imagine getting through pregnancy and labor without her by their sides.

But everything changes when a baby is found dead…and the evidence points to Gracy as the murderer.

She didn’t commit the crime, but clearing her name isn’t so easy when her innocence is not quite as simple, either. She knows things, and that’s dangerous. Invited into her neighbors’ homes during their most intimate and vulnerable times, she can’t help what she sees and hears. A woman sometimes says things in the birthing bed, when life and death seem suspended within the same moment. Gracy has always tucked those revelations away, even the confessions that have cast shadows on her heart.

With her friends taking sides and a trial looming, Gracy must decide whether it’s worth risking everything to prove her innocence. And she knows that her years of discretion may simply demand too high a price now…especially since she’s been keeping more than a few dark secrets of her own.

There’s always something special about the last book you read before the calendar flips over to a new year and The Last Midwife was no exception. I spend the holidays relaxing reading this book and have to say it was hard to put down.

The main character, Gracy is a midwife in a Colorado town during the gold mining days. Her voice pulls you into the story and you like her straight away. She seems kind and sweet so when she’s suddenly accused of killing a baby, you’re put on edge and want to start reading more chapters.

It’s not just Gracy who’s a great character in this story, but just about everyone she comes in contact with. Each one seemed to jump off the page and I liked the way the author gave them all some sort of secret to keep hidden.

The author did a wonderful job portraying the town and how people actually lived and sometimes suffered through this period of history. You get a feel for what women went through during pregnancy and childbirth and just how tough the female of the family had to be to survive.

I felt like this book not only offered me a wonderful read but also a well told history lesson rolled in there too. The pacing was perfect and I found myself spending more time reading each time I picked up this book. This was the first time I’d read anything by this author and now I’ll be looking for more titles written by her.

Ms. Dallas has set the bar high for my New Year reading and I hope the next book I read is just as enjoyable. It’s one I suggest you add to your winter reading list.

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