Diane Chamberlain’s The Midwife’s Confession was nearly impossible for me to put down—the perfect kind of book for Christmas vacation. The novel takes the reader on a wild ride of revelations in the lives of three long-time friends. Emerson, Tara, and Noelle have been a tight-knit trio for 20 years and think they know everything about each other. But Noelle’s suicide shocks her two best friends. Turns out Noelle led a secret life, filled with skeletons and betrayals. In their search to discover why Noelle killed herself, Tara and Emerson uncover most—but not all—of Noelle’s secrets.
The story unfolds through the perspectives of several characters both in flashback and in present day: Emerson, Tara, Noelle, and others. Noelle is the least knowable of the characters, veiled to the reader in the same way she is veiled to her friends. We never find out some of Noelle’s story, which did bother me. I like things all neatly tied together in the end. But all the other components come together fairly well, and a good twist or two provide a couple of satisfactory “a-ha” moments. I also appreciated that Chamberlian did not go where I thought she was headed a few times.
This is my second Diane Chamberlain book (I read The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes earlier this year), and I will definitely be reading more. Like CeeCee Wilkes, The Midwife’s Confession is filled with implausible events, but I didn’t care. I liked the stories so well that I allowed myself to believe them.