The Book of the Unnamed Midwife – Book Review

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Published Date: October 11, 2016

Publishing Co.: 47North

Pages: 300

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

How do you take a dark, post apocalyptic world and manage to make it boring for ¾ of the book? Well, you write paragraphs upon paragraphs about scavenging houses and simply existing for long periods of time. I get that this helps create an atmosphere of loneliness and creeping madness, but if we’re going that route you have to at least give me a mildly entertaining main character to follow and our frequently name changing midwife is not that character.

A plague wipes out a majority of humanity, the most affected were women and children. Women are a rare commodity so of course, when captured by the remaining men, are used as sex slaves. If they survive all that, they most likely will die in child birth and the infants die 100% of the time. Our lone ranger nurse, not only tries to survive, but tries to spread birth control to any women she encounters. These are her two goals while wandering around aimlessly.

The premise itself has merit but the execution was just underwhelming. I skipped large swaths of the text, mainly anything that didn’t have dialogue. Anything else was just talk of scavenging or diary entries that were somehow just as boring. If you manage to hang in there, the last ¼ of the book is rather good when a larger group of people are entered into the plot. Their various stories of survival and the years after brought some flavor back to the world.

You could very easily read this as a stand alone novel or if you’re masochistic, you could carry on with the series.

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15 thoughts on “The Book of the Unnamed Midwife – Book Review

      1. It’s funny because in me noggin’ I thought I wrote a scathing review about it. I also thought me review was very nice about the problems when I reread it. That happens sometimes when I write about things immediately after finishing them. Me thoughts do change slightly as time passes. I actually went back on Goodreads and gave this book a lower rating.
        x The Captain

      2. Sometimes when I reread a review I wrote, I think maybe I didn’t need to be THAT mean and then I read the comments from people mad at my review and decide, fuck that. Plus, I usually only write scathing reviews when I really hate something.

      3. I don’t mind writing negative reviews. And I don’t care if people hate them. I refuse to fight over opinions of books. Because I know I be right! 😉 But seriously, I love reading negative reviews and getting opinions that are different then me own. I also love when someone’s negative opinion saves me time and loot. Of course I also am weird so there are lots of books where I seem to have the only negative review. Such is life.
        x The Captain

  1. I couldn’t get through it for an entirely different reason! I actually liked the premise and execution, but it was freaking brutal. I’m not usually triggered by assault…for the most part. If it gets too graphic, too intense,or it’s just constant then I get bothered, and I was done after Roxanne talked about the girl who died in childbirth. There was a lot of monotony I’ll agree but I got kind of drawn into her survival tactics. I thought it was pretty (if grimly) realistic, but realistic in writing can get tedious for readers.

    1. Part of the problem was that I could not connect with any of the characters either. The beginning also kind of implied that she was going to be this birth control crusader for women and then we spent SO much time next to that stupid little town of Mormons with not much happening. Plus, I didn’t like that there was essentially not a single good male character or if they were at least not a rapist, they were a complete oaf.

      1. I didn’t get to the part with the Mormons. I think the implication was that all of them were killed? Which yeah isn’t entirely realistic. I’m torn between thinking men would turn into that if that kind of situation went down and not wanting to because I’d like to retain SOME faith in humanity.

      2. Eventually yeah they were all killed but before there was some politics before that that was basically the young guys getting killed off by the older guys who wanted all the women and girls to themselves. I do think there would be a lot of awful men left (I mean sometimes you’ve got to be a giant bastard to survive) but it can’t possibly be the ONLY type of guy to survive, right? Please?

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