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The Midwife's Tale by Samuel Thomas
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The Midwife's Tale (edition 2013)

by Samuel Thomas

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111None113,072 (3.76)4
Member:melaniehope
Title:The Midwife's Tale
Authors:Samuel Thomas
Info:Minotaur Books (2013), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:historical fiction

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The Midwife's Tale by Samuel Thomas

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I have no clue who, or what, prompted me to buy this book. Certainly not my cuppa tea.

If you are at all interested in midwifery history, I'm sure this would be very interesting to you. Otherwise, I suggest you look for a different read. ( )
  kaulsu | Oct 24, 2013 |
The Midwife’s Tale by Sam Thomas is both rich in historical details and mystery. I love books that I can learn from besides enjoying a great story. Bridget Hodgson is a well-respected midwife and gentlewoman living in York in the time of the English civil war in the 1644.

Bridget’s friend, Esther Cooper is accused of poisoning her husband with ratsbane. Bridget thinks that Esther has to be innocent; she is too kind a woman to even think of murder. Bridget has little time to find out who the true murderer is as there was not a legal trial of elected officials. The penalty for treason against husbands is death by fire.

Also she has to be available to carefully deliver babies. She is joined by her new servant, Martha Hawkins. Bridget believes Martha’s story of her being a servant to a dear friend who has died and is amazed at Martha’s unusual capabilities as the story goes on.

All the while delivering babies, Bridget is trying to quickly find out the true murderer when another murder occurs. This story is full of intrigue and secrets. People are taking sides with either King Charles or the Parliament rebels. It is dangerous enough already to travel on foot around York, let alone with different fires and shootings going on. When you read this book, you feel that you are truly stepping back into history when the streets were not safe, day or night or when a message received was paid for with a penny.

As the story goes on, it get more complex and there are many suspects and with all the twists in the story, you don’t know who to trust besides, Bridget and her household. I gained a new understanding of the status of midwifes in that period, a much higher one that for women in general.

I think this book is a real treasure and if you love history and mystery, I hope that you will read it. ( )
  Carolee888 | Aug 28, 2013 |
Amazon recommended this book to me and I'm certainly glad they did. I just finished and already wish there were more by this author. I can compare it with Arianna Franklin's 'Mistress of the Art of Death' books, only I believe Mr. Thomas is a better writer. This book was written by an historian and it definitely shows. I very much enjoyed the historical aspect of this book, the customs surrounding midwifery in the time he has written.

The mystery was done very well, too. I had no idea whatsoever who the culprit was until the very last when it was revealed who did the dastardly deed. I do wish that one hateful person had been made to pay for her sins,though.

I will not hesitate to read another of Sam Thomas's books. He has a new fan. (The book has but a few profane words. I wish they could have been avoided simply because I don't think curse words add anything at all to a story.) (less) ( )
  SusanGibsonSnodgrss | Jun 5, 2013 |
York,England in 1644 is a city under siege, as part of an ongoing civil war between King Charles and revolutionary parliamentarians. Midwife Bridget Hodgson, with the help of able maidservant Martha, investigates two murders-the death of husband and an infanticide. Rich in period detail and filled with interesting historical tidbits, the story moves along at a nice pace.

I read a lot of historical fiction, and most novelists give their protagonists the ideals and mindsets of the modern day reader, though they are assuredly most different than most people who lived at the time the story actually took place. Author Sam Thomas did a very good job with Bridget; she holds many beliefs about structure, class, and punishment that are very different from ours today, but she still comes across as likeable and compassionate. This mystery should appeal to fans of Ariana Franklin and Margaret Frazer. I read that a sequel is in the works, I’m hoping for a series! ( )
  Kimaoverstreet | Apr 1, 2013 |
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Book description
It is 1644, and Parliament’s armies have risen against the King and laid siege to the city of York. Even as the city suffers at the rebels’ hands, midwife Bridget Hodgson becomes embroiled in a different sort of rebellion. One of Bridget’s friends, Esther Cooper, has been convicted of murdering her husband and sentenced to be burnt alive. Convinced that her friend is innocent, Bridget sets out to find the real killer.

Bridget joins forces with Martha Hawkins, a servant who’s far more skilled with a knife than any respectable woman ought to be. To save Esther from the stake, they must dodge rebel artillery, confront a murderous figure from Martha’s past, and capture a brutal killer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. The investigation takes Bridget and Martha from the homes of the city’s most powerful families to the alleyways of its poorest neighborhoods. As they delve into the life of Esther’s murdered husband, they discover that his ostentatious Puritanism hid a deeply sinister secret life, and that far too often tyranny and treason go hand in hand.
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It is 1644, and Parliament's armies have risen against the king and laid siege to the city of York. Even as the city suffers at the rebel's hands, midwife Bridget Hodgson becomes embroiled in a different sort of rebellion.

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Minotaur Books

Two editions of this book were published by Minotaur Books.

Editions: 1250010764, 1250038340

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