Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Midwife's Revolt (The Midwife Series, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Midwife's Revolt (The Midwife Series, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Midwife's Revolt

(Midwife #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  15,550 ratings  ·  1,345 reviews
On a dark night in 1775, Lizzie Boylston is awakened by the sound of cannons. From a hill south of Boston, she watches as fires burn in Charlestown, in a battle that she soon discovers has claimed her husband’s life.

Alone in a new town, Lizzie grieves privately but takes comfort in her deepening friendship with Abigail Adams. Soon, word spreads of Lizzie’s extraordinary mi
Kindle Edition, 426 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by Lake Union Publishing (first published December 2nd 2012)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Midwife's Revolt, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jodi Daynard Hi, Dawn - that is an excellent question. I will ask my publisher to develop some and post them here, on my FB author page, and on my website jodidayn…moreHi, Dawn - that is an excellent question. I will ask my publisher to develop some and post them here, on my FB author page, and on my website

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,550 ratings  ·  1,345 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Midwife's Revolt (The Midwife Series, #1)
Bonnie Shores
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you love historical fiction, do yourself a favor and read this book.


Lizzie Boylston, the main character, is a midwife and holistic healer in Braintree, Massachusetts (right outside of Boston) in the 1770s. Her character is fictional, but others such as John and Abigail Adams are, of course, real.

Lizzie was born into a prominent Boston family and descended from English nobility. As war tensions escalated, however, her family was forced to surrender their Brattle Street home in Cambridge. She
Angela M
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it

Through the characters of Lizzie Boylston and her good friend Abigal Adams, and a cast of real as well as other fictitious characters, the time and places around Boston come to life during the Revolutionary War . It's about some very strong women , friendships, love , some espionage thrown in that makes for an intriguing story.

In her notes at the end , Daynard describes how she sought through her meticulous research to provide historical accuracy and she also tells us (alas ) that Lizzie Boylst
Jeannette Nikolova
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
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 entirel
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
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley, reviewed
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
Sonnet Fitzgerald
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
The idea for this book is ripe with promise: a historical novel, set in the War for Independence, narrated from the POV of Abigail Adam's best friend. Add in a dash of murder mystery and it seems like it should be a real winner!

As it turns out, however, this book is badly in need of a developmental editor. I respect the author and the work she put in, but this version just wasn't ready without some serious cleaning up.

In specific:

There are multiple plot holes or narrative errors in the story, wh
Connie G
Widowed when her young husband is killed in battle in Charlestown, Lizzie Boylston makes use of her skills as a midwife and farmer to survive. She also becomes involved in the Patriot Cause, eventually dressing as a boy to act as a spy. Her neighbors in Braintree, the Adams and Quincy families, become supportive friends. The book combines historical accuracy with an exciting, touching storyline for the fictional Lizzie during the Revolutionary War years. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy spe ...more
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.
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I found this book boring. I should have quit but I just kept listening. I am quite intrigued by midwives especially during this time period. There was not very many details about midwives unfortunately. Everything in the book seem to turn out perfect including every birth??! Something I didn't think was as common during those days. Anyway probably wouldn't recommend it.
Mar 25, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was easy, easy readable. It's approach to the patriot cause from the Boyleston's view, clear cut. It's a simple matter of "for or against" in this book. That's a huge part of my problem with this telling as in that era and community, it often was not. And that exact onus of mistrust/trust factor amongst neighbors seemed terribly "off" to me. More distance within and far less cozy talk reigned there. In the historic sense, although it is an interesting individual story, I found it also ...more
Shari Larsen
One night in 1775, Lizzie Boylston wakes up to the sound of cannons. From a hill in Boston, she can see the city of Charlestown burning during a battle, a battle she soon learns has claimed the life of her husband.

Lizzie is still new in the town of Braintree, Massachusetts, but she takes comfort in her deepening friendship with Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams. Lizzie is also a midwife, and soon word spreads of her skills in midwifery and healing, and she channels her grief into helping others.
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Disappointed. I was so caught up in much of this story until it reached the 3/4 point where modern day morality, or should I say immortality, is introduced and smothered the rest of the story. While petty sin such as jealously is piously shunned, immorality is embraced, expected, and hand-slap if you dare think anyone should expect anything less. This ruined the entire story for me. I’m so frustrated. After reading three biographies previously which were so wholesome, this made me feel gross. Su ...more
RoseMary Achey
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Historical fiction taking place during the Revolutionary War is not as common as other historical periods...this mad Daynard's novel somewhat unique. I learned a good deal about those fighting for freedom during the Revolutionary period and those loyal to the British King.

As to the Revolt...well that is a bit of an exaggeration. The main characters attempt to assist the war effort was a bit overdrawn and almost chartoonish in its portrayal. Despite this flaw, a good read.
Enjoyable story with all the good stuff---history, mystery, adventure & romance. I loved that the main character was friends with Abigail Adams & appreciated being immersed in the Revolutionary time period. I listened on Audible with Julia Whelan's stellar narration. Good read, especially for history buffs.

**Kindle Unlimited
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Eh. I really wanted to like this. I enjoyed all the details about the time period: the author clearly did her homework. Her prose was so beautiful and descriptive, but everything else was just boring. Dressing up as a boy a few times hardly makes a character a spy, and certainly doesn't justify the title of Midwife's Revolt. The characters were shallow, even the revered Abigail Adams-I know that she is a small woman with a big personality, but please, tell me something else about her.
Erin Clemence
Mar 21, 2015 rated it liked it
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
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
Liza Perrat
The Midwife’s Revolt, set in Braintree, Massachusetts, throws the reader into the turbulent years of the American Revolutionary War, with great insight into the personal lives of the women left at home.

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Bolyston, a midwife and a widow of the Revolution is struggling with the pain and grief of her husband's death, and her battle to be accepted into her small community. But she’s determined, and rides a horse like a man and disguises herself in men’s clothes to work undercover fo
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have always been a fan of historical fiction, and honestly don't care too much if there's slips of modern idioms here and there. But, I really struggled through this book. Yes it was well researched, and I somewhat enjoyed the conclusion... but the actual conflict that the book centers on doesn't appear until the 50% mark. Yeah, you have to struggle through 200+ pages of daily farm life narrative and a "woe is me" bad attitude from the main character. All of that could have easily been condens ...more
I got this on Kindle and audible and ended up listening to the whole book rather than reading it. This historical fiction is set during the American Revolution. Being a New Englander, I enjoyed the description of events in the Boston area including Cambridge, and Braintree, south of Boston, where the heroine lives. The heroine is close friends with Abigail Adams, the wife of the future president, John Adams. Daynard does include real life figures and events, but the heroine is pure fiction. The ...more
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
“Revolt” is too strong of a word for a story that barely crawls along.
It's interesting to compare this book to two other books I took on recently as part of my Alphabet Reading Challenge: Way back on letter H, I attempted and quit The Heretic's Daughter, a story about women and witchcraft trials set in 1690s Massachusetts. Then, not too long ago on letter M, I vread Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, set in 1860s Washington, D.C. The Midwife's Revolt is set in 1770s Massachusetts. All three of these books straddle the line between fiction and history, telling stories of r ...more
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
The Midwife's Revolt was very well researched but the story dragged on and the "revolt" was weak. In fact, the title is very misleading. And for that time period, the sexual immorality that was blithely accepted by almost all the characters seemed very out of place and incongruous.
Apr 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
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
Sherry Sharpnack
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lizzie Boyleston is “midwife” in Revolutionary New England. She and her new husband move to Braintree, Mass, to begin farming. Among their new neighbors are John and Abigail Adams. Abigail and Lizzie develop a friendship as their husbands are away b/c of the Colonies’ rift w/ England.

Lizzie’s husband dies in the battle of Breed’s Hill. Her agony and desperation are very well drawn. She tries to keep her farm going, against societal and family pressures, as her husband’s cold, Tory family try to
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This enjoyable read takes us back to the Revolutionary war. More specifically it recounts the tale of a handful of women living and farming in Braintree, MA., and trying to survive while their men fight for the Cause.
At the center stands Elizabeth "Lizzie" Boylston, a midwife and a young widow of the Revolution. Lizzie is a very unconventional young lady, she rides astride a horse like any man, has been known to don men's clothes when it has been highly convenient and who wants to go undercover
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Meital Ben-Daniel
Jun 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Too slow and boring. Highly disappointing.
Read only up to 37% and had no urge to continue.... sorry !
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Embrace the Wind (Aislynn's Story #2)
  • Far Away Home (Aislynn's Story #1)
  • One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow
  • Golden Poppies
  • Above the Bay of Angels
  • Where the Lost Wander
  • The Girl with the Golden Scissors
  • Mustard Seed (Yellow Crocus #2)
  • When the Yellow Mocker Calls (Two Feather's Legacy Book 1)
  • Finding Rebecca
  • Paper Wife
  • The Victory Garden
  • In a Field of Blue
  • The Saturday Evening Girls Club
  • The Dressmaker's Gift
  • Toward the Midnight Sun
  • Sarah's Valley
  • Charlotte
See similar books…
Jodi Daynard is the author of the bestselling novels The Midwife’s Revolt and Our Own Country. She has also published The Place Within: Portraits of the American Landscape by 20 Contemporary Writers. Her essays and short stories have appeared in numerous periodicals, including Agni, The New England Review, The New York Times Book Review, Fiction, and the Paris Review. Ms. Daynard has taught writin ...more

Other books in the series

Midwife (3 books)
  • Our Own Country (The Midwife, #2)
  • A More Perfect Union (Midwife #3)

Related Articles

Let’s face it, 2020 is making us long for other timelines. Luckily, these 32 novels are ready to sweep you away to vastly different eras and...
169 likes · 145 comments
“You must learn to love yourself and your own company. As for others, there is no guarantee. You have only yourself for certain, until the last breath.” 9 likes
“it is more honorable to be kind even if one is not repaid with kindness.” 8 likes
More quotes…