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The Midwife's Confession
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208 of 212 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
'The Midwife's Confession' is brilliant!! Noelle is the midwife in the story, and Emerson and Tara are her best friends. Or so they thought. As Noelle's story unfolds, it becomes apparent that no one really knows her - not her friends, lovers, colleagues, or anyone. Her life is so entwined with those of Tara and Emerson, in ways that they had no idea of. Tara is married to Sam, and has a daughter, Grace. Emerson is married to Ted, and has a daughter, Jenny. Jenny and Grace are best friends, just like their mothers. Noelle is the midwife who has helped many women in their hour of need, assisting the birth of their babies, encouraging and supporting them. However, it soon becomes apparent that all is not as it seems, and that Noelle is nursing a dark secret that threatens to overwhelm everyone. Basically, this book illustrates that we never really KNOW anyone - we only know the bits that they want to share with us. The truth will ALWAYS come out, bringing devastation and destruction with it. This is such a well written, well plotted book, with totally believable characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would happily recommend it.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I LOVED this book; I resented any interruption while I was reading it, and missed it when I finished it!

The tragic story of the life of Noelle, who has suffered time and time again unbeknown to her closest friends, is heartbreaking. The book starts with her suicide, and goes on to explain the backdrop to it, and ultimately the awful secret with which she has never been able to come to terms, which finally led to her suicide.

The characters are rich, believable and likeable, and their close relationships ring true. As another reviewer has said, the book underlines how little we often know of even our closest friends, in this case with tragic consequences.

I have only read one of Diane Chamberlain's books before. This one has inspired me to read anything and everything else she has written; an absolutely brilliantly crafted work, a great read, a wonderful story.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2011
I bought this book after reading the various reviews on here and other magazines. I thought the book started of fantastically and had me gripped right from the start. The characters are interesting and well thought out and written,I enjoyed learning about them and their varying pasts.

I flew through the first quarter of the book in no time at all, then I found that during the middle I lost a bit of interest and started to predict what had happened. Yes, there are twists and turns that I didn't predict but overall I did manage to more or less guess what was happening.

I thought the end of the book ended quite abruptly and would have liked a little bit more. Overall, I did enjoy this book but I don't think I could give it more that 3 stars. I just felt a bit dissapointed when i'd finished reading it. I'd have rather read a Dorothy Koomson novel.

I would reccomend this book if you like an intriguing read with interesting characters and an original storyline.
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122 of 130 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have read a few Diane Chamberlain books recently and think this is probably one of the best so far. Intriguingly the 'main' character, Noelle the midwife, dies at the start of the book and so we get to know her through the memories and perceptions of her friends, and it quickly become clear that none of them really knew that much about her at all.

It was a book that I found hard to put down and I found myself wanting to read 'just a little more' before going to sleep. The story is full of twists and turns - some more predictable than others. Noelle's character is so complex that some of the others seem a little flat in comparison - Grace, for example, is an almost frustratingly stereotypical teenage girl, holding her mother in such distain whilst desperately trying to cling on to her first love.

Overall though its a really original story that hooks you in. You have sympathy for all of the familes and can empathise with all their situations - the temptation the friends have to simply discard the evidence and pretend nothing has happened, the way Noelle spends her life trying to atone for her mistake and yet finds she never can and with the plight of Anna and her daughter. I look forward to reading more of her books.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have enjoyed all the other Diane Chamberlain books I have read, and knew that I would enjoy this one too, but I think The Midwife's Confession is probably my favourite of hers so far.

It's primarily the story of three friends: Emerson, Tara and Noelle. When Noelle commits suicide it's a huge shock to Emerson and Tara and they just cannot understand why she has done it, until they find part of a letter that Noelle had written some years earlier. They then set out to find out more about their lost friend.

This is a riveting story. There were times when chapters ended on cliffhangers, and as the chapters were all fairly short, it meant that I wanted to keep reading all the time. This is a really well-plotted book, and such an easy read, with interesting characters. Highly recommended.
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90 of 96 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I started to read this and was hooked from page one, it`s a true suspense novel in the way it draws the reader in from the very beginning. The chapters go from one character to another whose lives are intertwined but every time the reader thinks they`ve guessed the big secret it moves to another level, it is very well written. You feel for each of the families in the story and right to the end you wonder what twists and turns are about to be revealed. This is not a disappointment in any sense.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Midwife's Confession is the first book I have read by Diane Chamberlain. The book is very much 'Women's Fiction' with an almost entirely female cast of characters. The male characters in the book are very thin and only feature occasionally. This is very much a book for female readers and I wouldn't recommend to male readers.

The story is quite well paced and 'chapters' alternate between the different female characters. The character of Noelle, the midwife, is the most compelling and interesting. Other female characters feel a little flat in comparison. Suspension of disbelief is required for some elements of the story but taking the story for what it is, it is an interesting tale with interesting consequences.

Although I have a few reservations about this book, I would look to read Diane Chamberlain's other books, probably going for those that her dedicated readers say are her best work. The Midwife's Confession is an easy read but the focus on females only and some flat characterisation were limitations.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 5 April 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a very good read, which kept me turning the pages, the story of three long time friends: Noelle, Tara and Emerson, and how after Noelle's unexpected death a tragic secret is uncovered.
It starts off a little slowly but soon gathers pace as Tara and Emerson find a partially written letter amongst their late friend Noelle's papers. Noelle was a midwife for many years and the letter is a horrifying confession, but to whom they do not know. So they set out to discover what happened and to establish the identity of the mother and baby involved in this terrible secret.
Told from the points of view of several different characters, and flitting back into the past, this is an enthralling book which really gets going and has you racing to the end. It explores the relationships between the three friends, with each other, with their daughters and husbands, and also the heartbreaking story of a fourth woman, whose connection I shall not give away.
Read and enjoy!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
THE MIDWIFE'S CONFESSION is the first book by Chamberlain that I have read. Not having any expectations at all when I came to this book, I have to say that I did enjoy it. It was an easy enough read, perfect for summer as you don't really need to think too much about it, you can just let it sweep you away.

The tale is about Noelle, the midwife in question. When she commits suicide, her two close friends Tara and Emerson decide that they have to find out why their friend felt as though the only way out of life was to end it. This decision by Tara and Emerson results in them finding things out about Noelle that they never dreamed possible. Did they really know her at all? But it is one action by Noelle that changes a number of lives forever.

That is a very brief synopsis of the plot. I wouldn't want to give too much away. Although in some ways, you can guess what the confession, or secret is, there are enough twists and turns along the way to keep you interested. The book is also narrated by more than just one character - you get to hear from Tara, Emerson, Noelle and so on. This means you get different perspectives and different insights into the characters.

Chamberlain's writing is good. Although there are a few characters who are given their chance to speak, the story doesn't ever feel as though the plot is unravelling or losing focus. Each character brings something to the story. And even though you may guess what the big secret is, the journey in getting there is good enough to keep you reading along to the end.
I would recommend this as a quick, easy summer read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 18 May 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have read several of Diane Chamberlain's novels, and this is really her finest work. The book grips you from the very beginning, and everything else gets put on hold so that you can continue to race through the tale at breakneck speed. The story begins with the suicide of Noelle, who has always been regarded as a pillar of society, a woman who helps bring life into the world.

After this terrible shock her friends Tara and Emerson are left wanting to find some reason for why their close friend could have reached such a point of despair without their knowing. Determined to resolve the mystery, and hoping to lay some peace in their own hearts that they couldn't have prevented this tragedy, they set-out to discover what Noelle had been hiding from them. The results turn their whole lives upside down, and the lives of others are ultimately changed because of Noelle's secret finally being shared.

During the tale the reader is simultaneously moving forward with the unfolding drama, whilst also seeing glimpses of Noelle through the years. The story is written from multi-person narratives, and it is seamlessly crafted. You learn what has driven Noelle to the ultimate of despairing acts, and you also learn to love her so much. You learn exactly how this all came to be, and how events that unfolded before Noelle's birth led her to this point.

This novel captures the reader from the first page, and the roller-coaster of emotion that follows is at times incredible. I highly recommend that you read this book; you won't regret it!
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