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The Birth House
The Birth House
Author: Ami McKay
As a child in the small village of Scot's Bay, Dora Rare (the first female in five generations of Rares) is befriended by Miss Babineau, an elderly midwife with a kitchen filled with folk remedies and a talent for telling tales. Dora becomes her apprentice at the outset of World War I, and together they help women t...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780061135859
ISBN-10: 0061135852
Publication Date: 8/22/2006
Pages: 400
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 28 ratings
Publisher: William Morrow
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

bananapancakes avatar reviewed The Birth House on + 95 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
Taking place during the first World War, this book brings to light the hardship women had face before women's suffrage. The women of a small mountain town in Nova Scotia are used to home births by a kindly wise midwife and they would not have it any other way until challenged by a new doctor in town, who deems it unsafe and basically stupid to not want a hospital birth, where the mother is sedated, barely remembering the event at all. Dora, at first a young girl at the start of this novel is at the heart of this struggle, as she takes the lead role as midwife after a tragedy occurs. I really liked this book and although it took a bit to capture my attention, once it did I could not put it down.
harmony85 avatar reviewed The Birth House on + 982 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
This book was just fantastic-one of the best I've read all year! Highly recommend it. I felt like I was reading music and magic. Includes many interesting historical events of that time period and tells a great story at the same time. Dr. Thomas will drive you nuts, but you will fall in love with Marie B.! If you have or get this paperback copy, make sure you read the PS section. The author interview was just as intersting as the story!
suzyshadow avatar reviewed The Birth House on + 125 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A very easy look at some difficult history. I especially liked the way the author pulled in the newspaper articles and advertisements of the day..interesting. A definite read...
reviewed The Birth House on
Helpful Score: 3
A wonderful story of a midwife in rural Nova Scotia. Lots of rich, well-researched details too.
reviewed The Birth House on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Over all this was an OK book. It was interesting to read of what it was like to be a woman in the early 1900's. The midwifery aspect was good, and probably realistic for a rural village in the day.

I WANT TO STRESS THAT IT IS NOT A REALISTIC VIEW OF TODAY'S MIDWIVES. The majority of midwives today are professionals.

Also, I hate it when an author makes all the "Christians" in the book hypocrites and idiots, and those not Christians "Saints."
Read All 31 Book Reviews of "The Birth House"

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MsJenniferK avatar reviewed The Birth House on + 28 more book reviews
This was an impressive debut novel!

The topic was fascinating! I loved learning about the midwife treatments and the advances modern medicine was making in the early 1900's in regards to women's healthcare!

My biggest complaint was not feeling a real connection to any of the characters.
ldnursemomma avatar reviewed The Birth House on
I could not put this book down! It is by far one of my favorites! It made me laugh and cry. I highly recommend!
reviewed The Birth House on + 628 more book reviews
I was quite disappointed in this book after waiting so long to read it, and al the rave reviews about it.... I've read a lot about Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and mid wifery, but the protagonist here was totally unbelievable to me. It was more like the author took a modern woman and placed her back in time a century ago. I found it to be rather shallow. Sorry, realy wanted to like it.
reviewed The Birth House on + 3 more book reviews
Good well developed story and characters.
ladysarina avatar reviewed The Birth House on + 38 more book reviews
Dora Rare makes this story compelling. Reaching out from the cold hard winters of Nova Scotia, in the times of woman's sufferage, this coming of age novel grabs you from the beginning, makes you feel what this young woman of 17 feels on her wedding day, the skills she learns as a midwife and as a fugitive from men. You cannot but hope that this story helps other young women, and older women for that, understand that to accept some hardships in your life for the greater good, is what it's all about.

Ami McKay has bathed this young woman in a beautiful light, we would be good to remember that it wasn't so long ago that women had to hide from men for fear of persecution. Although a work of fiction, this book resonates with me and the recent turning from "modern" to more home births.

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