Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 448 pages
Audiobook Length: 12 hours
First Published: 2023
From the author of Code Name Hélène, comes a new novel based on the true story of a fearless midwife determined to find justice. In 1789, Martha Ballard is asked to determine the cause of death of a man found buried in the ice. As a local midwife, Martha knows all the town’s secrets, including that this man was one of the men accused of a heinous rape four months ago. As the rape trial nears, Martha believes the two cases are connected and her detailed diary ends up as pivotal evidence that might tear the whole town, and her family, apart.
A delightful historical mystery featuring a strong heroine, The Frozen River is an excellent choice for any book club. Lawhon helps you feel not only the powerlessness and inequality women faced at the time, especially in the court of law. Sadly, the rape trial was an actual event which was even more horrific in reality than in the novel. Yet, Martha’s capable and compassionate work as a midwife and as as a wife and mother was inspiring and informative.
From the New York Times bestselling author of I Was Anastasia and Code Name Hélène comes a gripping historical mystery inspired by the life and diary of Martha Ballard, a renowned 18th-century midwife who investigates a shocking murder that unhinges her small community.
Maine, 1789: The Kennebec River freezes, entombing a man in the ice. Martha Ballard is summoned to examine the body and determine cause of death. As the local midwife and healer, Martha is good at keeping secrets. Her diary is a record of every birth and death, every murder and debacle that unfolds in the town of Hallowell. In that diary she also documented the details of an alleged rape that occurred four months earlier. Now, one of the men accused of that heinous attack has been found dead in the ice.
While Martha is certain she knows what happened the night of the assault, she suspects that the two crimes are linked, and that there is more to both cases than meets the eye. Over the course of one long, hard winter, as the trial nears, and whispers and prejudices mount, Martha’s diary lands at the center of the scandal and threatens to tear both her family and her community apart.
In her newest offering, Ariel Lawhon brings to life a brave and compassionate unsung heroine who refused to accept anything less than justice on behalf of those no one else would protect. The Frozen River is a thrilling, tense, and tender story of a remarkable woman who had the courage to take a stand, and in the process wrote herself into American history.
About Ariel Lawhon
Ariel Lawhon an author whose works include Flight of Dreams, I Was Anastasia, The Frozen River, Code Name Hélène, and The Wife, The Maid, and The Mistress. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Visit the author’s website →