Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Birth House by Ami McKay

I liked this book well enough but was expecting/hoping for more focus on the stories surrounding the birth-house itself with the strong, uppity, unconventional Miss B mentoring Dora until the end. It was, instead, a look into the life and times of small town Canada during the first part of the 20th Century with various characters and story-lines; the actual birth-house is only realized at the very end.

The Birth House is the story of Dora Rare, the first daughter to be born in five generations of Rares. As a child in an isolated village in Nova Scotia, she is drawn to Miss Babineau, an outspoken acadian midwife with a gift for healing and a kitchen filled with herbs and folk remedies. During the turbulent first years of World War 1, Dora becomes a midwife's apprentice. Together they help the women of Scots Bay through infertility, difficult labours, breech births, unwanted pregnancies and unfulfilling sex lives. When Gilbert Thomas, a brash medical doctor, comes to Scots Bay with promises of fast, painless childbirth, many in the community begin to question Miss Babineau's methods. After Miss Babineau disappears, Dora is left to carry on alone. In the face of fierce opposition, she must summon all her strength and fight to protect the birthing traditions and women's wisdom that have been passed down to her. (inside flap)


4 comments:

Sam said...

I hadn't heard of this, it sounds interesting ...

Trish said...

Yes, I love all the wives' tales and herbal remedies too.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

The cover certainly catches my attention. Thanks for introducing this one to me.

Trish said...

It's sweet, isn't it?