The Midwife’s Secret

An involving family drama-mystery told across three generations

Book title

The Midwife’s Secret


Emily Gunnis

Standalone or series


First time reading this author?


Why I picked this

I’ve had a wee break from reading via online book club Pigeonhole, but missed the experience and this was the most interesting (to me) book currently on offer.

Review copy or purchase

Thank you to the author, publisher Headline Review, and online book club The Pigeonhole for the chance to read this. This is an honest and voluntary review.

What it’s about

The Hilton and James family have conflicted across three generations. The Jameses have been blamed for the death of one Hilton daughter and one missing girl. As this conflict plays out in the third generation will the truth finally emerge?


Told across three generations of family, The Midwife’s Secret starts in 1945 as the village midwife, Tessa James, is blamed for the death in labour of the wife and baby daughter of her landlord Wilfred Hilton. The male doctor who is actually responsible blames Tessa, and as that fits into the prejudices of the time she’s arrested and convicted.

But, the Hilton and James families remain connected through the generations. A connection which seems to put the daughters of the Hiltons at risk.

Wilfred’s granddaughter goes missing one winter’s night in 1969 and Tessa’s great grandson is suspected. And, in 2017 history seems to be repeating itself.

This is a great combination of historical fiction and modern mystery story. While in the first few chapters I had to keep referring back to the family tree included to get the characters straight in my mind, I was quickly absorbed in the plot and able to remember who was who across the different generations of the two families. Just as well really as the family tree is intentionally misleading in at least one respect as you’ll quickly figure out if you read this book.

I really enjoyed the sense of mystery throughout. The references to the different practices of each era were fascinating, and the conflicts between the two families really kept the human story at the centre.

A really involving read.


Rating: 5 out of 5.
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