The Birthing House
By Christopher Ransom
(St. Martin's Griffin, Paperback, 9780312624156, 320pp.)
Publication Date: August 3, 2010
List Price: $16.99*
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Conrad and Joanna Harrison, a young couple from Los Angeles, attempt to save their marriage by leaving the pressures of the city to start anew in a quiet, rural setting. They buy a Victorian mansion that once served as a haven for unwed mothers, called a birthing house. One day when Joanna is away, the previous owner visits Conrad to bequeath a vital piece of the house's historic heritage, a photo album that he claims "belongs to the house." Thumbing through the old, sepia-colored photographs of midwives and fearful, unhappily pregnant girls in their starched, nineteenth-century dresses, Conrad is suddenly chilled to the bone: staring back at him with a countenance of hatred and rage is the image of his own wife....
Thus begins a story of possession, sexual obsession, and, ultimately, murder, as a centuries-old crime is reenacted in the present, turning Conrad and Joanna's American dream into a relentless nightmare.
Christopher Ransom is a native of Boulder, Colorado, who has lived in New York and Los Angeles. He now resides with his wife and three rescued dogs in a 142-year-old former birthing house in Mineral Point, Wisconsin.