The Birth House
By Ami McKay
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061135873, 382pp.)
Publication Date: October 2007
List Price: $14.99*
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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.
[It] will educate and thoroughly charm you with its honesty and brilliant prose.
-The State (Columbia, SC)