Review- The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison
22962314-_uy200_4/5 stars
-I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review-


The earth has been infected by a sickness, a sickness that leaves the planet nearly empty of living people. The disease also affects the unborn, as all babies that come into this bleak new world die within a few hours. Of the individuals that remain, almost all are men who are hungry for women. The few women left are traded, raped, kept on chains, married, and remarried. Our protagonist cleverly disguises herself as a man to keep safe. She’s a trained nurse and makes it her mission to offer birth control to females to minimize their risks of dying while giving birth to sick infants. Our protagonist travels across the US, walking miles every day in search of safety and survivors that aren’t looking to kill her. It’s impossible to predict how many people are still alive and, more importantly, how they may behave.


If you’re looking for a post-apocalyptic thriller, this is it. Or, better yet, if you’re looking for a post-apocalyptic thriller with a main character who is likable and interesting, this is it. I feel like sometimes this genre leaves authors focusing on creating their story but neglecting the voice in which it’s told. “The Book of the Unnamed Midwife” is not one of those instances. The protagonist has a really multifaceted point of view, especially about gender, and I really enjoyed hearing her thoughts about the imbalance of power between the sexes.

Some parts of this book left me feeling a bit uneasy—young girls getting raped by much older men—but then again, who reads a post-apocalyptic novel looking to feel at ease? This world that Meg Elison creates is so unique that I pushed through the uncomfortable bits; and I’m so glad that I did. The plot, characters, and writing did not disappoint me in the slightest.

I also want to add that the ending is fantastic. I had no idea where the plot was going, even when there were only 20 pages left in the novel, but the ending blew me away. Meg Elison truly knows how to wrap a story up and leave the reader satisfied. I’m always ecstatic when I close a book feeling content with the final page, and that’s exactly what I felt with “The Book of the Unnamed Midwife”.

I want to thank NetGalley for the advance copy of this book that I received. I’m grateful that I got a first look at the wonderful plot and characters. I’m so excited for it to hit bookstore shelves and see other readers love it as much as I did.

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