The Midwife’s Revolt by Jodi Daynard

Staying a bit with the theme of women in the days of the American Revolution – I bring you
The Midwife’s Revolt by Jodi Daynard.

Book Review:

The seamless integration of historical events and people of interest in the early years of the American Revolution, and the strikingly detailed and portrayed fictional character of Lizzie Boylston in the writer’s well-written prose made this book a joy to read, and very difficult to put down.

Lizzie is a unique character and not just for 17th century New England. Her strength, courage and plain-spoken manner, as well as her ‘take charge’ attitude feel wholly and completely modern: her willingness to flout convention and place herself in great danger to protect her friends and satisfy her own curiosity were refreshing, if nail-biting to read.

Particularly effective is the life-long friendship with Abigail Adams, and the friendship and support the two shared through the years. In the cleverly portrayed relationship, we see the strength of these two women, and readers will find many correlations to concerns of a more modern day. This is one of those books that has you wishing all history courses were presented in this form: giving a real sense of the trials and challenges faced by the people of the time.

Fiction can open new vistas, and provide a new level of understanding of a situation: whether done wholly from the author’s imagination or utilizing real facts and historical references to enhance the story in which their character is starring. Jodi Daynard managed to both enhance Lizzie’s story with fact, and enhance fact with this story of Lizzie.


The Midwife’s Revolt by Jodi Daynard

Title: The Midwife's Revolt
Author: Jodi Daynard
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by: Opossum Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 440
Rated: five-stars
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The Midwife’s Revolt takes the reader on a journey to the founding days of America. It follows one woman’s path, Lizzie Boylston, from her grieving days of widowhood after Bunker Hill, to her deepening friendship with Abigail Adams and midwifery, and finally to her dangerous work as a spy for the Cause. Much has been written about our founding men. But The Midwife’s Revolt is unique in that it opens a window onto the lives of our founding women as well.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Jodi Daynard

Jodi Daynard is a writer of fiction, essays, and criticism. Her work has appeared in numerous periodicals, including The New York Times Book Review, The Village Voice, The Paris Review, Agni, New England Review and in several anthologies. She is the author of The Place Within: Portraits of the American Landscape by 20 Contemporary Writers (W. W. Norton). Ms. Daynard’s essays have been nominated for several prizes and mentioned in Best American Essays. She has taught writing at Harvard University, M.I.T., and in the MFA program at Emerson College, and served for seven years as Fiction Editor at Boston Review. The Midwife’s Revolt is her first novel.