The Frozen River Book Review!

Book Synopsis

In "The Frozen River" by Ariel Lawhon, 1789 Maine sets the stage for Martha Ballard, a midwife, to unravel a murder mystery. Amidst societal confines, she defies norms, fighting for truth in a gripping historical tale.

About The Author

Ariel Lawhon is a New York Times Bestselling author of acclaimed novels such as "The Wife, The Maid, and The Mistress," "Flight of Dreams," "I Was Anastasia," and "Code Name Helene." Her books, celebrated internationally, reflect her passion for historical storytelling. Residing near Nashville, Tennessee, she balances writing with family life, often found shuttling between the grocery store and the baseball field with her husband, four sons, and beloved black Lab.


Book Highlights

Martha Ballard:

A formidable midwife and protagonist, Martha navigates 18th-century Maine's societal constraints while investigating a murder mystery and advocating for women's rights.

Ephraim Ballard:

Martha's supportive husband of 35 years, Ephraim runs a successful sawmill and stands by Martha's side through challenges.

Dr. Benjamin Page:

A Harvard-educated physician, Page clashes with Martha over medical opinions and plays a pivotal role in the murder investigation.

Joseph North:

The ruthless village judge implicated in both rape and murder, North antagonizes Martha and Ephraim, complicating their lives.

Rebecca Foster:

Pregnant with her rapists' child, Rebecca's plight intertwines with Martha's quest for justice, adding layers of complexity to the narrative.

Martha's daughters:

Seeking suitable husbands, Martha's daughters provide insight into the societal pressures faced by women in 18th-century Maine.


A mysterious indigenous healer, Dr. offers Martha a different perspective on medicine and life, adding depth to the story.

Joshua Burgess:

Found dead in the frozen Kennebec River, Burgess's murder sets off a chain of events that unravel secrets within the close-knit community.

Jane Oppenheimer:

The narrator of the audiobook version, Oppenheimer brings Martha's character to life with her engaging performance.


The frozen landscape of 18th-century Maine serves as a chilling backdrop for Martha's gripping tale of murder, mystery, and resilience.

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