The Midwife’s Revolt

Written by Jodi Daynard
Review by Beth Turza

In the spring of 1775, America finds itself at war with England. Young Jeb and Lizzie Boylston said goodbye to one another after settling into the farm that his uncle, John Quincy, has provided to them. When Jeb is killed in the very first skirmish that his unit fights in this War for Independence, Lizzie is left alone. She establishes herself with the locals by earning a living as a healer and a midwife, taught to her by her now-deceased mother. Lizzie is the voice of this historical novel, recording her depression, fears, hunger, and not knowing who the enemy is. Her dearest friends, Abigail Adams and Mrs. Quincy, install in her home Martha, a young woman to assist with the farm and to apprentice as a midwife. When two suspicious deaths occur and her knowledge of herbs show poison as the cause, Lizzie turns spy and tries to help discover who the enemy is among them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this step back in time, told through a courageous woman of the period. Through Lizzie’s narration I felt transported to the 18th century, with the authentic home scenes and the politics wonderfully depicted. The characters are well developed and have genuine feelings of concern, suspicion and loyalty for one another. The principal characters become involved in relationships, while family fences are mended when her sister-in-law, Eliza, moves in to care for her with her impending motherhood, expanding the caring band of sisters. I look forward to the next book, told from Eliza’s point of view, and continuing the story.