Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Birth House by Ami McKay

The Birth House by Ami McKay is set in Nova Scotia at the beginning of World War I. Dora Rare, the first Rare baby to be born a girl in generations, is seventeen-years-old and has fallen into an apprenticeship with the local midwife, Miss B. Dora never intended to be a midwife, but when Miss B. passes by on her way to a birth, she insists Dora come along. As Dora catches her first baby, she is filled with love for the tiny little child in her arms. It isn't long before she is learning everything Miss B. can teach her. Unfortunately, this isn't a time or a place where the people of their tiny town can appreciate a midwife's ministrations, at least not publicly. When a new doctor comes to town claiming medical science to be far superior to the witchery of midwifery, things only get worse for Dora and Miss B.

This book sounded so fascinating to me and the first half of the book seemed as if it was really going somewhere special. Sadly, the story seemed to stagnate and never made the kind of progress I had hoped it would. I was further thrown by the epilogue that is dated twenty-five years later. It is as if the author ran out of story and so just ended with "and they all lived happily ever after." I was disappointed, but I did enjoy some of the descriptions of midwifery. I'd like to find another book about it that is a little better written. Do you have one you'd like to recommend?

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