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The Birth House: A Novel (P.S.) Paperback – Bargain Price, October 9, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Her new novel. The Virgin Cure, is inspired by the life of her great- great grandmother, Dr. Sarah Fonda Mackintosh, a female physician in nineteenth century New York. Born and raised in Indiana, Ami now lives in Nova Scotia.
Top Customer Reviews
The characters in The Birth House are real people, people we care about throughout the story. These are the women we wish we had as neighbours, women we wish we were.
If I have one criticism, it would be seeing our heroine, Dora, in so many historical events. I was OK with seeing her help out at the Halifax explosion, but my credibility was stretched a bit when the small town midwife also helped in Boston during the Influenza epidemic in 1918.
All in all, an excellent read. I would recommend it to all mothers and mothers-to-be. (Wonderful to see yet another amazing Canadian woman author!)
A young girl, Dora Rare, moves in with an elderly small town midwife or 'traiteur' who claims that Dora will take over her birthing business. Marie Babineau trains the young girl in the ways that only tradition can teach.
The story takes place over a number of years, seeing the main character married, operating a birthing house and raising someone else's child. Dora is caught between the old ways and new, modern birthing practices. The story evolves slowly, deeply and emotionally.
As a fellow Canadian author, it is uplifting to see Canadian fiction so well accepted. I too write about Canadian locales, but haven't yet made it to the east coast in my books yet. Having lived in New Brunswick and traveled to Nova Scotia, I think McKay has painted a quaint and realistic picture of how life was (and maybe still is to some extent), with characters that live and breathe. Canadian fiction is alive and well, thanks to authors like Ami McKay!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to delve into the emotions and lives of small town Nova Scotia. But warning...bring Kleenex!
~ Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Author of Divine Intervention
I wondered though, at the accuracy of this book at times, and I do love to read historical fiction. I didn't pay much attentiont to the midwifery practices mentioned in the book, but I did wonder about the notion of doctors coming into the area trying to service pregnant women, and the role and perception of modern medicine.
This book really won't answer these questions as I feel it is more fiction than history.
My biggest problem with the book was the one dimentional characters. You have the wise "Miss B." who is the midwife, and she has more nuggets of wisdom than you can count.
Then you have the evil, money grubbing, all science doctor, who presents the conflict for the novel, and is never really shown as more than a quack.
Finally, you have the heroine, a misunderstood and trapped teen, who marries badly, is outspoken, and has some good and not so good connections with the community. She's a little more advanced in her femnisit thinking than I think most woman were, who lived on a mountain and is of age at about 1915.
As the writer's first novel, I think this is a good effort.
For a good afternoon read, you might love it. The best part, I thought, was the camaradarie of women.
If you want more history about either midwives or this time period, I think you will find this book lacking.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this book. Reading about the strong women who paved the way for women of today is truly inspirational.Published 16 days ago by Janice J.
Loved it. Great story and never too predictable. You fall in love with Dottie and her misfit group of friends.Published 16 days ago by Kindle Customer
I enjoyed this book and it kept my interest throughout. I like the spirit of the women, the friendship, and the various personalities of the characters. Read morePublished 23 days ago by D. Wall
We as women can still identify with women at the turn of the century. I enjoyed reading this book and learning a bit about midwifery and early obstetrics .Published 4 months ago by Laurie Pfiffner
Provocative, thought provoking, and beautifully written. Would highly recommend anyone to read this book!Published 5 months ago by Ashley Niehaus
I loved this book! Such an interesting topic and one I hadn't run across before. Nova Scotia in the early 1900s in a small village is a good setting for a young woman learning a... Read morePublished 5 months ago by bookworm90
Good piece of historical fiction. Especially timely during our current political environment when men are trying to take away women's rights to control their own body. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jeannie Warner
This book is for the reader who wants something beyond the standard plot. Half historical and half wonderful story it clearly defines one woman's passage into her natural beauty... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Seamstress1
I found this book to be interesting in that I did not know very much about this period in history. Also the setting of Nova Scotia was a new place for me. Read morePublished 5 months ago by E. Ervin