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The Midwife's Revolt

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  416 ratings  ·  99 reviews
"A charming, unexpected, and decidedly different view of the Revolutionary War." -- Publishers Weekly

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 dangero
Paperback, 432 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Opossum Press (first published December 2nd 2012)
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One of the reasons why I enjoy reading books about the midwives of the past is because they operated outside of the conventional norms for women. They also had knowledge of herbs. Herbalism and other traditional healing practices made them vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft as is shown in Love of Shadows by Zoe Brooks which I reviewed in October. Lizzie Boylston, like other historical midwives that I've encountered, didn't heed the opinions of others. She rode her horse astride as men did, ...more
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 willingnes
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Gripping story about midwives during the American Revolution. I was so engrossed in this book I didn't even notice that I closed the book in a matter of 4.5 hours. It was truly a riviting story.
Jeannette Nikolova
Read on the WondrousBooks blog.

First and foremost, I would like to say how impressed I am by all the research Ms Daynard did writing this book. I read the Author's Note at the end and I realized that she really worked hard to get all of the details right. I wish other writers were half as dedicated, then we would not be suffocated by tons of literature that makes no sense.

However, I must say that it is possible I made a mistake choosing to read and review this book. I have never been entirely
Susrprisingly good, especially for short bus rides, because even a few pages create a mood, through details of daily living (down to a recipe for orange cake), descriptions of the political tensions of the time, the narrator's philosophical observations, or the challenges that each of the three main female characters face. Some beautiful descriptive language pops up unexpectedly when the author/narrator integrates details with larger picture observations about that particular moment in history. ...more
Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
This is an interesting take on the American Revolution.

I liked Lizzie and the relationships she had with the people around her. Just seeing Lizzie, who's a widow, try to survive on her own as a midwife during the American Revolution was great. I liked seeing her friendship with Abigail Adams, even though it seemed to have a bigger role in the beginning of the book, and then dropped off a little as the novel progressed. She had interesting relationships with Martha and Eliza, but I especially lik
I was drawn to this book heavily due to a recent discovery of an ancestor who was a locally well-known midwife and doctor of the Revolution in back-country North Carolina. My expectations were met for the most part by this wonderfully written historical fiction work.

A vivid portrayal of the American Revolution from a unique POV, the author’s research shines through in its extent and wealth of details. The novel portrays the Revolution from the point of view of a local midwife and wannabe spy, gi
Davina W.
To be honest, the first half of this book bored me enormously. I nearly gave up reading it. In my opinion it lacked originality and the characters, though amiable, were infinitely forgettable.
But I have to admit, the story grew on me and I became quite absorbed in it in the end. It was exciting, romantic and interesting to read about a historic time, I know very little about.
I think Daynard could have done a better job in drawing the reader into the story, so that one could really feel with the
The Midwife's Revolt is a wonderful story told in such detail and accuracy. The moment I started reading I couldn't put the book down.

The main protagonist is a plucky, statesmanlike character you love and fall more in love with as the story progresses. Lizzie is a heroine and a role model to aspire.

The writing is vivid and paints a clear picture of the life and times during the American Revolution years. We feel the suffering and sacrificing the men and women of this time endured with the turn
The Midwife's Revolt is a nice American-Revolution-era historical fiction starring a young widowed midwife, Lizzie Boylston. Lizzie lives in Braintree, Massachusetts (famous for being the home of John and Abigail Adams), and she's a total Patriot.

"'Nice', you say?", you say?

Well, it is. Better than "good"; not quite "excellent". The main character is brave and confident and loyal, but she still feels a little bland, not that there's anything wrong with that. The plot is interesting and included
I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a blog tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.

As a lover of both history and historical fiction, I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to read and review Jodi Daynard's The Midwife's Revolt. While a fictional tale, Ms. Daynard's blending of fictional and real characters, along with fictional and real events, gives us a unique perspective into the lives of women during the American Revolution. While much has been written a
Karleene Morrow


Lizzie Boyleston and her new husband Jeb settle onto their little farm looking forward to their new life. But the Americans have taken a stand for independence and war has started, an eight-year event that would be remembered as the American Revolutionary War.
Young Jeb goes confidently off to the battle while Lizzie, crushed but determined to be strong, prays that she is with child. Later when she begins to bleed she knows that Jeb has no heir.

Let me give you some background first on the mind I was in reading this sensational book. I was born and raised in Worcester Massachusetts, I have been to each and every place described in this book. I took a lot of politics classes in college and was a huge fan of John Adams. In fact the book by David McCullough sits by my desk regularly. Dog eared and bookmarked. I also started reading this on April 15th. Yah, that April 15th. Patriot's Day here in the Commonwealth. Marathon Monday. When once
This was a well researched story taking place outside Boston during the Revolutionary War. The author did a good job of recreating everyday life for a widowed wife of a revolutionary soldier. I thought the actual plot was a little contrived and predictable, and Lizzie's attempts as a spy, silly; but I was so wrapped up in the everyday lives of Lizzie, Martha and Eliza that the plot on John Adams life was secondary to me. So overall, a 3 star, but I did enjoy the read.
This well researched and expertly written Revolutionary War novel allows readers to experience the war through the eyes of Lizzie Boylston, a widowed midwife and good friend of neighbor Abigail Adams. Through Lizzie's eyes, readers witness a war-torn world removed from smoky battlefields and crackling muskets, where women work to preserve their farms and their families despite the pandemonium around them. The details of daily colonial life, medicine, social customs and more set the book apart fr ...more
Barbara Livak
A very good story of revolutionary war time especially for woman
To be honest, I came into this book with high expectations. Some of them were met and even exceeded, and some of them were not. I liked the writing from the beginning, and the amount of research the author put into this was more than obvious in her perfect attention to detail. Unfortunately, it was that same attention to detail that gave me pause later in the book.

I love that the author did so much to make the story authentic, and yet I found some parts of this book to be a bit too detailed, es
Nicol Legakis
This novel is an amazing amalgam of historical fiction, mystery, romance, and women's literature. I appreciate the author's dedication in making this tale historically accurate.

"The Midwife's Revolt" is a story set near Boston, during the American Revolution. Our indomitable protagonist, Elizabeth Boylston, is thrust into a world of war, intrigue, deprivation, and suffering, yet she weathers all with great aplomb. She is a young widow, midwife, farmer, herbalist, spy, and dearest friend of Abiga
Read my full review:

My opinion: I selected this book from Netgalley because of the subject matter. I have always been fascinated by women who fought in the Revolutionary War, so this book would have fit right into my reading love. I think, given the subject of this book, I expected much more "action" than what the book offered. However, I found myself frequently bored with the storyline and the writing. In all honesty, the characters left me kind of cold too.
Shira (Shiraloo)
I’ve been getting more and more into historical fiction, mostly based on my newfound love for the Outlander series. I’ve never been a huge fan of history in the past, but lately, I’ve been getting more excited about petticoats, homesteads, and strong women characters that changed the fate of those in their time.

Enter NetGalley with the offer for this novel. I jumped on the chance to read it and I’m glad I did. It wasn’t the showstopper I was hoping it would be, but it did feature a solid mystery
Nancy Bekofske
In 1818 Lizzie Boyleston prepares her dear friend Abigail Adams for burial. Together they had endured great hardships keeping their family farms going while their men were caught in Revolution--Abigail a 'widow to the cause' when her husband John Adams and their son John Quincy went to France, and Lizzie as a war widow. Lizzie was trained in herbal remedies and midwifery. The Midwife's Revolt by Jodi Daynard tells the story of their home front experience.

On June 16, 1775 Lizzie heard the noise o
Eileen E Cartwright
A great read

A great read

I really enjoyed this book. The author says she did extensive research on the times even to the extent as to what the weather was actually like on the days that various events happened to her characters. I enjoyed learning what the daily life of ordinary people was like in the days of the revolution.. Also the story gets quite exciting.. And there are several lovely love stories.
Erin Clemence
I received this book for free through NetGalley.
Jodi Daynard’s “The Midwife’s Revolt” tells the tale of Elizabeth (“Lizzie”), a recently widowed young midwife, living in America in the 18th century. This book tells the tale of Lizzie’s life after the death of her husband, including her friendships, her housekeeping and her romantic relations. Although this book could be considered historical fiction, I would probably lean toward calling it “political fiction” as the central theme of this book w
Andrea Stoeckel
[ I receive this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review alone. I was not compensated in any way nor duly influenced in how I review this, or any other book]


Elizabeth Lee Boylston, an early widow of the Revolutionary War, confidant to Abigail Adams, midwife and healer, is the focus of this historic fiction. Through her eyes in "flashback" format, we see the Revolution and its costs in hindsight as she sits at the side of her
3 Stars, Completed April 9, 2015

I think the main reason why I have the habit of judging books by the covers is because I often do not read the synopses. Or when I do, I skim them briefly. I tend to revisit the blurb after reading the book to judge its accuracy and level of spoilery. This tactic usually makes the plot more enjoyable for me.

The Midwife’s Revolt was no exception. I wasn’t expecting much from it since the cover is pretty plain, but this was an absolutely great read. The book is abou
i love historical fiction. i was happy to discover the main character had a close relationship with Abigail Adams. at times i did have a bit of a problem with the dialogue and did find some of the references to the political turmoil that happened during that period of time confusing but that didn't stop me from enjoying the book.
Can't put it down!
The midwife's revolt is the story that takes place in the revolutionary War about a young widow who also is a midwife and runs her small farm. it is about friendship, hardship and love. Great historical fiction. Loved it.
Becky Long
I really liked this book. I particularly enjoyed the author's skillful use of prose to evoke the more formal language of the Colonial/Revolutionary Era without going so far as to make the text taxing to a modern reader.
After Lizzie’s husband is killed in battle outside Boston in 1775, she moves away to make a new life for herself away from the painful memories. Lizzie is a skilled midwife and healer and as her reputation spreads, she finds herself and her skills in demand. Along with her medical practice, she becomes fast friends with Abigail Adams, and when two patriots are poisoned, Lizzie fears a plot that could harm her new friends, the Adams and her new homeland as well.

Daynard does an excellent job of pl
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About Jodi Daynard

713012 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 fo ...more
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