The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas
Kindle Edition (ARC)
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Published: 8 Jan 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Advanced Readers Copy. Thanks to NetGalley
My Rating: 4 out of 5
In the tradition of Arianna Franklin and C. J. Sansom comes Samuel Thomas’s remarkable debut, The Midwife’s Tale
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 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.
From the moment I read the first sentence, I was hooked..
..On the night I delivered Mercy Harris of a Bastard child, the King's soldiers burned the city's suburbs and fell back within its walls to await the Rebels assault .....
I found this novel to be a skillfully written, fascinating, historical story and a realistic portrayal about a 17c midwife during the english civil war. While rebels rise against the King and laid siege to the city of York in 1644, the female protagonist, Bridget Hodgson, tries to prevent a grave miscarriage of justice while bringing danger to herself and others in this fast-past historical mystery.
The protagonist, Lady Bridget Hodgson, is a well educated gentle women who is a well respected, hard working midwife during a very volatile time in her city. Bridget's character is one of strength, courage, intelligence, and sternness, yet she is a kind women who treats all with the respect they deserves.
The author, Samuel Thomas, did a marvellous job setting the historical 17c scene in which the story takes place. As the reader, I was quickly immersed into the story. The well developed characters added to the feeling of mystery and suspense which evolves from the excellent plot.
Although there was a couple different story lines going on within the one main story, it did not take away from the enjoyment of the story but in fact added to the excitement as it mounted.
I enjoyed this story a lot, and will look for other novels by Samuel Thomas in the future.