This story is as much about female relationships—between friends, mothers and daughters-- and womanhood in general, as it is about a mystery. The mystery would mean nothing without the groundwork of those relationships.
Chamberlain flawlessly depicts the relationships between two mothers and their daughters, with very different family dynamics. Neither is extreme, and both are believable. Furthermore, the friendships in this book are so varied and real. Friendships are not all peaches and pie; Chamberlain does a great job of portraying the unbreakable bond between lifelong friends as well as the conflict (both internal and external) that threatens that very bond.
As some secrets are confessed, and others are accidentally uncovered, The Midwife’s Confession becomes a twisting, turning, intriguing story of the secrets that weren’t shared. Read it for the answers, read it for the relationships, just read it.