The Midwife's Confession, by Diane Chamberlain
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Every once in awhile I start reading a book, and I think "meh...this is not really hooking me," but I continue carrying on. In this case, I had found this book on the library shelves and thought it sounded interesting enough. I always look books up on Goodreads if I find them that way, and this book's reviews were overwhelmingly positive. However, both Goodreads and Amazon had only 30 reviews or so, and for all I know, they could have all been written by the author's friends!
I didn't notice until I was almost finished that a Harlequin publishing house, Mira, published this book. I have never read a Harlequin book--and even though this is not your typical Harlequin romance--the writing rang similar. Formulaic and lifeless. The author had written many other books and I'd never heard of any of them--both of those should have been dead giveaways.
The Midwife's Confession is not particularly well written. Chamberlain uses the passive voice constantly, and I found her characters to be shallow and one dimensional. I found the plot appealing (before I started reading): two friends try to discover why their other dear friend commits suicide...but it fell flat. Not only were the plot elements predictable, but they were highly unbelievable as well.
The characters annoyed me, and Noelle (the woman who kills herself) came across as difficult to fathom, even though Chamberlain has several chapters written in her perspective.
Speaking of perspective, that jumps around from chapter to chapter, from character to character and first person to third person. Why did Grace hate her mother with such passion? Is that typical of teenage girls?
Then it was all wrapped up way too nicely in the end.
I should have quit this book when I saw where it was headed. I do not recommend this--it was a waste of my time. Kind of like eating potato chips while watching a bad made-for-TV movie and pondering why you did that.
Now onto Maya Angelou--at least I know the writing will be lyrical and lovely!