Diane Chamberlain's The Midwife's Confession

The Midwife's Confession - Diane Chamberlain

Dear Anna,
What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I'm so sorry...


The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle's suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle - her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family - described a woman who embraced life.

Yet there was so much they didn't know.

With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle's friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives; and the life of a desperate stranger with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit. [ synopsis from goodreads ]




A few years ago, a read Chamberlain's The Lies We Told and I remember loving it. I definitely did not have that relationship with this book. So I don't know what happened there or if it's just that I've been reading more mysteries and am just pickier? But whatever the cast, this book just felt like a big case of bad mystery writing.

But I'll break that down a little more. So first off, I felt this book REALLY shouldn't have been written in rotating first person. Tara and Emerson sounded EXACTLY the same and if the chapters weren't marked, I wouldn't have been able to tell them apart. Which is odd since it was constantly discussed that they were super different but yet there was nothing distinguishing about their personalities when they were in first person. I think this book would've been much better off in third person.

I also felt like this book was much longer that it needed to be. It spent a lot of time trying to build suspense and stopping in places to try to keep the mystery going longer. But honestly not a single thing in this book surprised me. All of the "twists" felt pretty obvious by the time we'd reached them because they were way too drawn out. I think a lot could've been cut out of this book and it would've at least help make it more of the mystery it was trying to be.

It also had a lot of threads that I felt weren't really explored?? It felt like it could've gone a lot of different places but by the end it seemed like most of those were just trying to be red herrings but they didn't really work as red herrings?? They just made the plot really messy and pretty unsatisfactory.

So I really wasn't fond of this book. It was very easy to read and I flew through it pretty quickly when I would actually read it (I read a bunch of other things in the middle of reading this though) but I just didn't really want to pick it up and it didn't really draw me in because I'd already figured out the mystery and it was a matter of waiting for all the characters to catch up.

I never really connected with anyone in this book and I never really cared what happened to them. It was honestly a lackluster reading experience and I'm glad to be done. So I don't really know what the deal was here but it just didn't feel like much of a mystery?? But, again, that could be because I'm used to Agatha. Now THAT is great mystery writing. This was not.


review originally posted on goodreads