Information for Book Groups

Invite an Author to Your Book Group

I’ve had a great response to The Midwife’s Tale from book groups, and thought it would make sense to provide a couple aids to help continue the discussion.

First, if your meet within an hour of Cleveland, I would be more than happy to join your group. Since I work full-time, it might take some planning to make it work, but if you’re able to be flexible I’m sure we can find a time.

If your group is not in the greater Cleveland area, I could Skype or G-Chat with you. Not as much fun as being there, but a close second! In either case, just drop me an e-mail and we’ll get the ball rolling.

Discussion Questions

To facilitate your discussions, I've put together a list of questions for The Midwife’s Tale:

  1. Bridget is wealthy enough that she doesn’t practice midwifery for the money. Why do you think she does it?

  2. Why did Bridget allow Martha to stay in her household, even after she lied about her past?

  3. What similarities and differences do you see between Bridget and her rival, Rebecca Hooke?

  4. Write down one word or phrase to describe Bridget, Martha, and Rebecca Hooke. Then go around the group and read your words aloud. How many different words did you come up with for each character?

    Once you have done this, elaborate on the complexities, or lack of complexities, of these individuals.

  5. How do you think the loss of her children affected Bridget?

  6. Despite clear evidence of her guilt, Bridget agrees to help Esther. Why?

  7. How did Bridget’s attitude towards religion and politics change over the course of the novel?

  8. What qualities made a woman a good midwife in early modern England? How do these compare to what we think makes a good doctor today?

  9. How does childbirth in early modern England compare to childbirth today? Has childbirth become more private or less?

    Thanks again for your interest in The Midwife's Tale. If you have any questions or comments, don't be afraid to contact me!