the last midwife book coverReviewed by Meg Massey

Gracy Brookens is the only midwife in a small Colorado mining town in the 1880’s. Raised by another midwife, Nabby, she delivered her first baby at the age of 10. Since that time, women of all stations and circumstances have trusted her with their lives and their children. Gracy has just returned home from delivering a baby when the town’s sheriff informs her that she has been charged with the murder of a young infant born to a prominent family in town.

Gracy insists that she did not commit the crime, but the town begins to talk, and women begin to take sides. And as her trial looms, Gracy and her husband Daniel realize that she has created enemies, simply because of the secrets that she has seen and heard during women’s most intimate moments. And while she is convinced that all is not what it seems with the family that has accused her of such a heinous crime, it is her word against theirs.

In The Last Midwife, author Sandra Dallas has created a powerful and mysterious tale. Going back and forth through time, the author reveals both tragic and joyful moments in Gracy’s life, from the births of beautiful infants, to the death of her own children. The author also reveals a devastating secret that drove Gracy’s only son Jeff away from their family home. Jeff returns when he hears of Gracy’s trial, but their family is not the same.

It is not until the last moments of the novel that we learn who committed the crime, and the revelation is startling. But even more difficult to grasp is the devastating truths that ultimately led to the infant’s death. The last piece of that terrible secret is unveiled in the final line of the novel by Gracy herself. In short, this novel is a page-turning tale with twists and turns you won’t see coming. Even days after you turn the final page, this one is sure to stick with you.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Library professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between.

Review copy was provided by St. Martin’s Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.