Newly widowed and shunned, Lizzie Boylston finds solace in two things: her work as a midwife and her friendship with Abigail Adams.
So when Abigail’s family is threaten by a sinister anti-patriot plot, Lizzie throws herself into a delicate game of cat and mouse to catch the culprits.
But who is her ally and who is a traitor?
And will the handsome charms of Mr Cleverly or the roguish attentions of Mr Miller be enough to distract her from her cause?
The Midwife’s Revolt is the bestselling novel of historical author Jodi Daynard.
Alongside novels, Daynard also writes essays, short stories and critical pieces and has taught writing at Harvard University and Emerson College.
Her work, which also includes The Place Within and a re-translation of An Evening with Claire, has appeared in numerous periodicals – including the New York Times Book Review, the Paris Review, and the New England Review.
Written as a memoir, The Midwife’s Revolt follows the fictional life of Lizzie Boylston throughout the drama and tragedy of the American fight for independence.
The sequel, Our Own Country, follows that of Lizzie’s sister-in-law Eliza, who herself is fighting her own battle to save the man she loves from slavery.
The pair, who begin as adversaries, become bound by duty and tragedy and soon find their lives inescapably intertwined.
Lizzie, strong and feisty from start to finish, is a fabulous leading heroine – wholly comfortable with renouncing common expectation and convention.
Eliza, by comparison, may seem more understated and certainly comes across as proud and cold initially.
However, the narration warms to her and in Our Own Country she certainly comes alive as a character through her unyielding conviction and dignified suffering.
Beyond it’s intriguing narrator, The Midwife’s Revolt also offers a wealth of personality among the close community of Braintree.
From the seemingly incompetent and outspoken Colonel Quincy, to the quiet and reserved tenacity of Martha Miller.
But not everyone is who they seem and loyalty appears a rare commodity to come by.
Are Mr Cleverly’s intentions of marriage genuine and just whose side is Thomas Miller really on?
The plot twists in this novel are extremely well written, and I honestly couldn’t see half of them coming. Right up until the end the storyline will tease you and keep you guessing.
Daynard should also be highly commended for the extent of the historical research she did before writing the series.
She started by taking notes on a monthly calendar from June 1775, when the story begins, right through to November 1778.
She noted everything – every turn in the war, child born, snowstorm and disease outbreak and using this as a foundation, she crafted her story from there up.
She even includes an actual letter from John Adams to his wife Abigail on 15 February 1778.
All in all, the novel is simply a sublime example of what historical fiction can truly be and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Thank you Jodi Daynard.
Published in the UK by Lake Union Publishing, on 7 April 2015, The Midwife’s Revolt retails at £8.99.
Our Own Country, published on 23 February 2016, also retails at £8.99.