Cover Image: The Midwife

The Midwife

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Member Reviews

This was a bit confusing. Characters with more than one name, interchanging throughout without any real explanation until later. I didn't a lot of the time wondering what was going on, and it didn't seem to flow.

The story itself was good, and it ended well, all tying up at the end. I'm just not sure I can honestly say it was well written or that I enjoyed it.

I have read others by this author which I enjoyed so I would definitely read another. This one just wasn't for me.

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A compelling read that keeps you gripped. Some really good surprises that genuinely took me aback. Good characters too.

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This book is brilliant!! It gets you straight into the story and it doesn't let you go even when there are a few suprise twists it holds on tight. The characters are unbelievable! The ending was a complete shock absorber and the twists well I'll just say hold on tight!

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The tension in this expertly written narrative is palpable, creating an immersive experience that draws you into a world of secrets and suspense. Well crafted and I can’t wait for more!

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The Midwife by Victoria Jenkins was a great book. With so many twists and turns I was hooked and struggled to put it down. Kept me guessing throughout. A great page turner that will have everyone hooked.

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Super great thriller! The entire book is dark and ominous and you just know bad things are waiting around each corner.

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My second book by Victoria Jenkins and I wasn’t disappointed.

Lauren is 30 weeks pregnant with her baby girl conceived by IVF when she goes for a tour of the local hospital maternity unit and meets a midwife called Jackie. A few days after the tour Jackie rings her and invites her to a mums-to-be session she runs at the local community centre and Lauren agrees to go and hopes to meet other mums-to-be. Through these sessions she begins to feel more comfortable with Jackie, but Lauren is hiding a dark past. When a brick is thrown through her flat’s window with a note attached “You can’t run forever” Lauren fears her past is finally catching up to her. Then when an intruder breaks into her home and starts a fire in her kitchen she starts to worry about the safety of her unborn child and herself. She finds herself confiding in Jackie but is Jackie who she seems or is she hiding a past just as dark as Laurens? You’ll have to read to find out!

Another great read from Victoria Jenkins. I was hooked very early on and although it was a slow burn, I really enjoyed the suspense that Victoria Jenkins is so good at building. I did find it a little difficult to follow who was who at the start but ultimately when the story came together in the second half this wasn’t a problem at all and by then I knew exactly who everyone was, and it all made sense. I loved the fact I was fooled, and I didn’t see the main twist coming which is always great with a psychological thriller.

Overall, another solid story from Victoria Jenkins. I definitely recommend this for psychological thriller fans, and I look forward to her next book.

Thank you to NetGalley, Victoria Jenkins and Bookouture for my advanced reading copy. Out now.

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The Midwife is a is new phycological thriller and it has a lot to unpack. There is a large cast of characters and at time that can be confusing because the book shifts back and forth using multiple perspectives. Which is normally no issue. However,I found myself needing to go back and reread certain chapters to be sure I was remembering the characters correctly.

The Midwife at least for me is it really of a bit slow paced read as far as plot development which I feel does detract from the “thriller” aspect of the storyline.

The main theme at least at the core of the story arc was a need to establish a core of trustworthy characters. The majority of which are left in an unknown status for the most of the book.

Which I do understand a huge amount of trust goes into this storyline and is a major component of the plot is important. But when your 75% through a book and have not established trust for the main characters or the side characters before the pieces starts falling into place makes the book feel a bit drawn out. But I’m just impatient that way I expect a thriller to be a taut page turner that jerks me up at night.

The plot unfolds primarily from two perspectives, “The Mother” and “The Midwife,” the reader gets an overview and feel of a holistic approach which feels normal and well done.

I did find the book harder to follow because the author doesn’t use character names for the chapter headings during a perspective change. After you get used to it you start to recognize the voice of that character so it does get easier to understand who’s perspective is telling the story at that point in time.

There is a reason for that revealed later in the book that helps it make more sense. But again it creates an uncomfortable lag in the flow of he story arc and I haven’t seen this approach before.

While I liked getting two points of view on central events, it created a large amount of inner monologues as each of the characters experienced and reacted to said events. So it does make it a bit convoluted and confusing at times and could easily be scaled back a bit and streamlined. While both perspectives are needed I think it was a bit too much.

Main-events/crucial issues for sure should be discussed but it just has a lot of added fluff. I don’t need an in-depth breakdown on everything by both points of view.

I don’t know it’s probably my preference on this particular issue. I just feel that when there is that much internal reflection you adding a layer that doesn’t need to be so convoluted and it causes the book to pace really slow at times.

Fortunately, it does pick up just over halfway through as secrets are revealed (and hang on tight there are a lot) and dealt with. With this said this is a very slow build as far as a phycological thriller goes the progression in the plot is pretty slow so you need to be patient enough to wait for resolution.

I have to say that although I enjoyed the book I could only read it in short snatches and had to lay it down often.

However, I’m glad I didn’t give up it ended well and overall I like the book.

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"A NEW HOME, A NEW LIFE, A NEW NAME"
...

This is one of those psychological thrillers which has so many twists and turns in its plotline, you need to have your wits about you at all times! At one point, when I had, out of necessity, needed to take a break from my reading, I even anticipated having to go back to the beginning and re-read the story to date, as I was certain I was missing out on something fundamentally important. However, after piecing events together and arranging them in context with both each other and their relevant characters, all gradually became clear, especially if you remember that no one is who you think they are and nothing is as it seems... Let me try and explain!

...

Lauren, a PA, lives alone in a small flat in London. Her brave decision and tenacity in pursuing and persisting with IVF treatment, means that she is now an older, expectant, single mother, who, as her delivery date approaches, is feeling more isolated and lonely by the day, following the break-up of her relationship with partner Callum.

But, for the last twenty years Lauren has been lying to everyone, keeping a secret she can never let out into the cruel light of day, and she is obviously in hiding from someone. So, when first her flat is attacked, then she personally is threatened, she begins to panic, especially when she realises that she is being watched, which means that she has been running from a past which is about to catch up with her. Everyone is a potential suspect in Lauren's eyes, even her landlord Karim, although she is forced to accept his seemingly guileless, kind gestures, as she has nowhere else to run and no one else to turn to.

Knowing that it is probably only a matter of time before she is 'outed' to the world, Lauren decides to try and make contact with her estranged brother Jamie, who has spent the majority of his adult life in prison and is a drug addict. However, Jamie definitely doesn't want to build any bridges with his sister and in fact, their one and only meeting results in the worst possible ending for him, although Lauren is not yet aware of the guilt she is about to feel when his true fate is revealed.

Alarm bells should have been ringing loud and clear when out of the blue, Lauren is approached by Jackie, an off-duty midwife, who offers her some much needed support and reassurance, even though the two have never met before at any of Lauren's many ante-natal appointments. Lauren's suspicions are still only mildly aroused when Jackie invites her to a weekly informal get together away from the confines of the hospital, where she discovers that there are only two participants, herself and another much younger mum-to-be, called Amber, who seems vaguely familiar.

Jackie also has a secret, in fact, it transpires, more than one and she is fast running out of options to keep all her plates spinning at the same time, knowing that if any one of them hits the ground, the consequences will be inconceivably dire for all concerned. When push comes to shove however and Lauren's baby is in danger of becoming another statistic, will Jackie's true commitment to her profession outweigh all else, including fears for her own safety and the repercussions her actions may have on others?

When the dust has finally settled, there still aren't any overtly happy endings, although one or two seeds of hope for the future are shooting towards the light.

But, be sure the sins of the past will always find you out!

...

Whilst this isn't strictly speaking a dual timeline story, as it is predominantly set in the present day, there are some moving and disturbing flashbacks to 1995, where it all began. The chapters are short, well signposted and easy to navigate, being narrated alternately through the voices of The Mother and The Midwife, which keeps the well constructed, multi-layered and textured storyline, bowling along at a good pace and with the continuity never compromised. The secrets are fed into the narrative and dialogue, one agonising drip at a time, drawing out and ratcheting up the suspense and tension almost to breaking point. Just when I thought I had worked out the two separate strands to the story another curved ball was thrown into the mix, with that eventual dovetailing not finally happening until almost the final agonising page.

Author Victoria Jenkins certainly isn't afraid to throw some controversial behaviours and crimes into the mix of a plot, being quite prepared to hold them up for inspection and conversation, particularly brave in today's climate of what is considered to be socially acceptable. Attempting to conceal and cover-up a teenage pregnancy. The coercive behaviour and dogged tenets of a dictatorial parent. The emotional trauma and lasting scars of losing ones parents at a young age and in particularly tragic circumstances. The dogged behaviour and entrapment tactics employed by a detective, who is doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons. At what point, in any of those scenarios, terrible as they are, is taking the law into your own hands and meting out your own brand of justice ever permissible or justified?

Victoria has set up one heck of an emotional, compulsive reading, roller-coaster ride for Lauren and indeed Jackie, with one of them having no idea who her unknown adversary might be, whilst the other has divided loyalties which will threaten to destroy her professional integrity and bend her faith in someone she holds dear, beyond breaking point. Throw into the mix someone whose life is a complete train wreck, dominated only by the lust for revenge and retribution, to the point where reality has almost ceased to exist and you can imagine what kind of a journey you are letting yourself in for. In fact, in this relatively small cast, the characters are all well defined and developed, even though they are all to a person, volatile, complex emotional wrecks. This makes none of them authentic, genuine or reliable and at times it seemed as though I was wading through treacle, trying to shake off the doom and gloom of their combined dour, lugubrious and tenuous hold on reality.

This story was predominantly all about the characters, their relationships to one another and the events which have drawn them together, so location was never really going to be a dominating factor. However, on a purely personal note, the armchair traveller in me was more than satisfied on this occasion, as although most of the action takes place in London, there are references a plenty to past times, when the characters were growing up in the small Wiltshire village of Purton and its nearest neighbouring town of Swindon, which is where I was born and spent almost three decades of my life. I was teased by a real sense of time and place that I could almost step into and an atmosphere which lingered long after I had closed the final page (or at least until my next monthly visit 'home').

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This book is certainly an attention grabber. It's filled with shady characters, secrets and deceit. Lauren is pregnant and searching for a midwife. Her life spirals as she is no longer in control. Of her life. There was a lot of stuff going on in this book. It took me a minute to figure out how everything fits in this puzzle. I thought it was brilliant.

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There is a lot going on in The Midwife, a new psych thriller by Victoria Jenkins.

One question that came up at the very beginning is exactly who is trustworthy. That stuck with me throughout the majority of the book. That’s a long time to be asking that question in a story. I think it should be a bit clearer earlier than almost ¾ through.

But maybe that’s just me.

Since the plot unfolds from two perspectives, “The Mother” and “The Midwife,” the reader gets somewhat of a holistic view of the action. I found it interesting that the author didn’t use character names for the chapter headings.

There’s a reason for that. But I'm not going to divulge why that is.

While I liked getting two points of view on central events, it meant that there were a lot of inner monologues as each of the characters experienced and reacted to said events.

Yeah, that’s convoluted, but then again, so are parts of the book. And when there is that much internal musing, the action drags.

Fortunately, it does pick up just over halfway through, especially as secrets are revealed (and boy are there a lot of those) and resolutions are reached.

I would definitely say that this is a “slow-build” type of psych thriller. The reader has to let themselves be drawn in and understand that the author is building to…something. And have the patience that the revelations will all make sense in the end.

I have liked other psych thriller novels by Victoria Jenkins. While The Midwife isn’t exactly my favorite, if you go into it knowing that it is very cerebral and take the information as it comes, I think you’ll enjoy it very much. And I will continue to look for her books.

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Of course this book is full of secrets and lies. Told by multiple povs. I had trouble working out who the baddie was. I love unpredictable and this book certainly was.

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Welcome to Pinewood Hospital. I’m here to take care of you…

The bright yellow walls of the maternity ward are plastered with posters of perfect families. Surrounded by happy looking couples, I’m painfully aware I’m about to give birth all alone. As I stroke my bump, I can’t stop the tears from falling down my cheeks. But when my midwife Jackie introduces herself and holds my trembling hand, I know she’s here to help. I instantly relax around her, even though I can’t shake the feeling we’ve met before…
As I sit in my small, rented bedsit that evening, my phone rings and I’m shocked to hear Jackie’s voice. I don’t recall giving her my number, but I have been forgetful of late. When she invites me to an antenatal group, I’m quick to make up an excuse, but she won’t take no for an answer. Jackie promised me there would be a big group, so why is there only one other nervous looking mother here? I catch Jackie studying my face when the woman asks me questions about my baby. Does Jackie know the secret I’ve been keeping? As my due date approaches, I find myself turning to Jackie more and more. I even let her talk me into her delivering my baby at home. She says she’s delivered hundreds of babies this way, and she’ll give me the birth I deserve. My baby and I are in safe hands… Aren’t we?
This book was a very clever thriller and was full of twists. I have a child myself and this book hits close to home for me. You hear so many horror stories about babies and giving birth and that's what makes this one scary to me. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy.

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Is your midwife Friend or Foe?
This book was so unsettling, but deeply intriguing and had me flying through the pages at break neck speed. The multiple timelines helped you piece together the dark motives, i would genuinely never have expected that ending and I know it will be hard to forget.

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This got confusing at times cus there were sp many different names for people. But by the end I'd call it good. I thought for sure Jackie was bad, turned out she was good.

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I absolutely love Victoria Jenkins books and this one has delivered. This has been everything I had hoped it would be. This is definitely a book I haven’t been able to put down.

This is a book I’ve found completely gripping. I’ve been on the edge of my seat craving what might come next. I still have been completely unable to put this one down.

Jackie and Lauren have been intriguing characters who I have been unsure of throughout this one. Jenkins has made me gasp as events have unfolded in this one.

This is perfectly paced, the events span out leaving you feeling unsure what is coming next. You definitely cannot predict this one.

I’ve read all of Jenkins books and this is definitely a favourite. I absolutely recommend this book.

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I'm not sure why this one took me nearly a month to finish because I did find it very entertaining, however it wasn't as gripping as I hoped. I did think the last 1/3 of the book really ramped up in drama and intrigue though. I thought the ending was great and very fitting. I did not see this playing out the way it did AT ALL so I was pleasantly surprised and shocked by the twist. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Great psychological thriller about a woman in her 40s who decides to do IVF. A midwife in the clinic named Jackie befriends her. This has an intriguing plot with a good twist at the end. Thank you to net galley for an ARC of this book!

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Lauren, who is in her forties, uses a donor and her savings to go through a successful round of IVF. On visiting the ante natal clinic she meets Jackie, a midwife. Jackie is very supportive and even suggests that Lauren joins a small group of pregnant women to talk over any worries. Lauren becomes worried that Jackie is showing too much interest in her and becomes suspicious. Lauren is hiding a secret which she must keep hidden but soon realises that there is someone else who knows about it as she starts receiving threatening letters and even a brick thrown through her window,. Jackie also has a secret past. Could what happened years ago be linked to them both? The book has an intriguing plot but was slow paced at times but I was pleased that is stuck with it as I was eager to find out the link between them.
Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book,

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I was hooked from the beginning. Once I started it I couldn’t put it down. Psychological thriller leaving you wondering if you could trust anyone in life. Haunting to think you couldn’t trust your midwife. Such a fantastic plot. Played out so well. Very well thought out and written.

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