Sunday, 26 August 2007

Book ~ The Birth House - Ami McKay (2007)

From ~ When Dr. Gilbert Thomas, self-proclaimed expert in hygienic, pain-free childbirth, opens a practice in a Nova Scotia coastal village during the World War I years, it sets the stage for a classic conflict between long-held traditions and modern medicine. Seventeen-year-old Dora Rare, the only Rare daughter within five generations, improves her lot in life by becoming the apprentice of Marie Babineau, the independent but caring Acadian midwife who helped bring several generations of Scots Bay residents into the world. The women of the village (not to mention their husbands) grow bitterly divided when Dr. Thomas calls the health and safety of expectant mothers into question. His vengeful actions toward Dora herself, a young woman looking for guidance with her own love life, turn particularly personal as well. McKay has fashioned what she terms a "literary scrapbook," reproducing and re-creating historical news clippings, advertisements, and letters within the text. This sensitively written novel of women's birthing rituals, strengths, and friendships will appeal to readers who enjoy gentle humor and plenty of homespun wisdom.

What attracted me to this book was that it is set in Nova Scotia, where I'm from. And the story sounded interesting. And it was.

The characters were believable and I was rooting for Dora to beat Dr. McKay!

I enjoyed this book. Definitely worth a read if you are looking for something different about the way it was a long time ago in a small town. It was interesting to read about the natural tonics to cure whatever ailed them.

The author's webpage


B said...

I wondered about this book - I shall add it to my list


~ames~ said...

I really enjoyed this book too!