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The Midwife Series by Jodi Daynard
This series by Jodi Daynard is centered around the times right before, during and after the American Revolution. It is a trilogy that tells the story of Lizzie Boylston and the friends she meets along her journey.
Author: Jodi Daynard
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Listening Time: 12 hours and 37 Minutes
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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 midwifery and healing skills, and she begins to channel her grief into caring for those who need her. ~ Goodreads
This is not as much a story about the Revolutionary War times as it is a story of true friendship during hard times. Although this is historical fiction, it could have been written without that backdrop and it would have been just as endearing.
At some point, I fell so in love with these characters that I forgot that Abigail was Abigail Adams. Her status as John Adams’ wife was of no real importance to the story. I wish the author had used a cast of fictional characters instead of a mixture of both real and fictitious. The story was strong enough without using the popularity of John Adams.
Julia Whelan is one of my favorite narrators. Her ability to draw you into a story is one of the reasons that I seek out her work. In fact, I found this book by doing a search of this narrator.
Author: Jodi Daynard
Narrator: Cristina Panfilio
Listening Time: 12 hours and 34 minutes
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
In 1770s Boston, a prosperous merchant’s daughter, Eliza Boylston, lives a charmed life—until war breaches the walls of the family estate and forces her to live in a world in which wealth can no longer protect her.
As the chaos of the Revolutionary War tears her family apart, Eliza finds herself drawn to her uncle’s slave, John Watkins. Their love leads to her exile in Braintree, Massachusetts, home to radicals John and Abigail Adams and Eliza’s midwife sister-in-law, Lizzie Boylston. ~ Goodreads
I liked this book mainly because I wanted to know more about Eliza and how her romance with a slave came to be. I enjoyed seeing the story from book one from a different perspective. But to me, the story was a little too repetitive and there was not enough new information.
I feel that the “great escape” to freedom was lack luster considering all of the fear that preceded it. The story made it seem way too easy…much easier than I am sure it would have been.
There was still no real reason to have John and Abigail Adams involved in this story except to give reason for the story taking place in Braintree. My personal opinion is that their involvement was a way to draw attention to the book through their popularity.
This is still a book about friendship, love and sacrifice. This part of the story as well as the main characters are really what hold this book together for me. It stands by itself and doesn’t need to be inserted into a great era in history to be a strong story.
Honestly, when I saw that this book had a different narrator than the first book, I was disappointed. But since this story is from another point of view it actually made perfect sense. Cristina Panfilio did an amazing job and I enjoyed the tone and cadence of her voice.
Author: Jodi Daynard
Narrator: Marcus Stewart
Listening Time: 11 hours and 31 minutes
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
In 1794, Johnny Watkins returns to America from Barbados, intent on becoming a great statesman. Even his hero, John Adams, believes the gifted boy will go far. There’s just one catch: Johnny must learn to pass for white.
He finds a spirited and lovely confidante in Kate, one of the few who knows that Johnny’s father had been born a slave. But as he moves closer toward the new city of Washington, Johnny leaves Kate behind, falling instead for a prominent Maryland heiress who may not have his best interests at heart. Embroiled in the vicious politics of the approaching election, Johnny lives every moment at risk of being unmasked. ~Goodreads
The story of Johnny was summarized in the end of book 2. Since the series had been about the love and friendships that these women shared, his story did not need to be told.
The narration done by Marcus Stewart was not the worst I have heard but I think that I might have enjoyed the story more if they also had a female narrator for the female roles. He just does not do a female voice in a convincing way.
There is really not much I can say for book 3 except that if you like books 1 and 2, don’t bother with book 3. The story is weak and the inevitability of what happened made it completely pointless.
The first book had me by the end of the first chapter and the story of these women was a breath of fresh air. To have a story of war told from the women’s perspective is not common. I like that most of the characters were depicted to live the struggles of living in a war torn land.
What disappointed me about this series is that there should have never been a third book. It completely changed the story from women, friendship and their hardships and it added nothing to the series. I wish Jodi Daynard had started a new series with Johnnie as the lead character rather than tying this third book in to this series.
Series Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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