The Birth House
by Ami McKay
Genre: Historical Fiction
Synopsis: An arresting portrait of the struggles that women faced for control of their own bodies, The Birth House is the story of Dora Rare—the first daughter in five generations of Rares.
As apprentice to the outspoken Acadian midwife Miss Babineau, Dora learns to assist the women of an isolated Nova Scotian village through infertility, difficult labors, breech births, unwanted pregnancies, and unfulfilling sex lives. During the turbulent World War I era, uncertainty and upheaval accompany the arrival of a brash new medical doctor and his promises of progress and fast, painless childbirth. In a clash between tradition and science, Dora finds herself fighting to protect the rights of women as well as the wisdom that has been put into her care.
Review: For some reason I am intrigued by stories about midwives. I thought I would enjoy this book but I just couldn't get into this book at all. The beginning was just heavy, full of historical stories/lore that didn't make sense to me. The format was also confusing. There would be narrative and then all of a sudden a diary entry and it made the reader wonder if the whole thing was a diary entry. Perhaps if I had kept reading to the part where Dora learns about being a midwife I would have enjoyed it more but I just couldn't get past the beginning.