I want to be able to rate this teen fantasy novel higher just for the one dig at anti-vaxers but I have to admit although it was readable and an interI want to be able to rate this teen fantasy novel higher just for the one dig at anti-vaxers but I have to admit although it was readable and an interesting enough premise, the writing is stilted, the characters unbelievable and it’s not exactly an air-tight story. ...more
I probably would have given this novel a 2.5/5 if possible. I find myself becoming pickier and pickier about the historic fiction I really enjoy and II probably would have given this novel a 2.5/5 if possible. I find myself becoming pickier and pickier about the historic fiction I really enjoy and I was expecting this one to make the list. The Civil War!, midwives!, and it was featured on the Amelia Bloomer list 2010-seemed right up my alley. For the most part, I did enjoy this first novel but I also found some parts to be quite problematic. My biggest quibble is Oliveira’s inclusion of real historic characters. I didn’t mind that honest Abe and Dorothea Dix make guest appearances but I found the chapters that featured them instead of Oliveria’s richly imagined characters distracting from the story and made the book somewhat disjointed. I also think Oliveria goes out of her way to include dialogue that testifies to the chronology of specific Civil War battles, etc. I prefer the historic fiction I read to include more detail about daily life in the time, than the military ins and outs that I skim through. Finally, I found the extremely variable chapter length to be distracting at times.
Despite all my complaints, she did write a well researched book about one woman’s ambition to rise above the constraints placed upon her by her era. I enjoyed the idea that Mary Sutter was able to grow personally in her ambitions amidst great national and personal tragedy. I would recommend this book to people who already enjoy historic fiction, but would not use it as a stand out of the genre to entice someone in. I would be interested to read Oliveira’s future works because I think she is still finding her feet as an author and has great potential. ...more
Really powerful and moving...sure it's no great academic work and the survey participants are self-selected, but the author never claims it is anythinReally powerful and moving...sure it's no great academic work and the survey participants are self-selected, but the author never claims it is anything but an opportunity to give these women a chance to tell their stories. Some of the interviews made me sick to my stomach to think of the shame and hypocrisy forced on the surrendering mothers, many of whom were just teenagers....more
I enjoyed it...I learned more about gardening and farm life from this book than I thought I cared to know, but it was interesting. I thought the essayI enjoyed it...I learned more about gardening and farm life from this book than I thought I cared to know, but it was interesting. I thought the essays by the daughter often got a little sanctimonious. I also wished they spent more time on how to translate the choices they made to lifestyles like mine where growing my own food isn’t really possible. Still an inspiring and provocative read and it really ends with a bang....more
I saw this author and book on Rachel Maddow after Dr. Tiller was murdered in the summer of 2009. I'm glad I picked it up. I was a child during the midI saw this author and book on Rachel Maddow after Dr. Tiller was murdered in the summer of 2009. I'm glad I picked it up. I was a child during the mid-1990s rash of abortion clinic bombings and provider murders so it's been easy for me to be somewhat blasé towards abortion rights. Dr. Wicklund's (and her family's) experiences prove otherwise. This book both reaffirmed my belief that the majority of Americans support access to abortion and terrified me in that most of these Americans are generally unwilling to publicly affirm their beliefs, even while a vocal (and often dangerous) minority is allowed to let their worldview infiltrate our laws and society.
As a relatively new women’s clinic patient escort, I appreciated the distinction she made between local activists protesting abortion due to deeply held religious beliefs. (I mean, I also believe that a lot of these protesters are operating on misinformation and flawed moral logic but I digress) and the more scary "professional" protesters intent on causing physical and psychological harm to women and doctors.
Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I would have gotten through this book quicker if the writing was a little better. I mean obviously, the point of this book wasn't to create a literary masterpiece but I did find it perhaps needlessly melodramatic at times. In reality, this is a 3.5 or 4 star read based on the writing alone but I cannot give a hero like Dr. Wicklund anything less than 5 stars. ...more
This collection of primary sources from the abortion dialogue in America is not exactly a page turner but it is a compelling and satisfying read for tThis collection of primary sources from the abortion dialogue in America is not exactly a page turner but it is a compelling and satisfying read for those interested in the topic. I enjoyed the range of sources and appreciated that the authors let the sources speak for themselves, without a lot of analysis. I also liked that the authors explicitly stated their stance on abortion; it’s impossible to claim neutral territory on this issue and being open raised their credibility in my eyes. I am pro-choice and found myself questioning and reinforcing my beliefs on abortion while reading this book. I found the sources that dealt with Catholic opinion to be fascinating. I also enjoyed comparing the arguments that guide the debate today to those that did forty years ago. I was not aware that the early arguments for legalizing abortion were mainly based on physicians’ instead of women’s rights-it was very enlightening to see the debate evolve through time.
However, I was very disappointed in the amount of glaring typos in this volume-I couldn’t believe all the mistakes (“and” instead of “an”, etc.) that clogged up the pages in this book. It needs a thorough copy-editing. ...more
I loved the premise of this book but wasn't necessarily wowed by the prose or plot. It was obviously well-researched which I always appreciate. If youI loved the premise of this book but wasn't necessarily wowed by the prose or plot. It was obviously well-researched which I always appreciate. If you're interesting in the subject, it's definitely worth reading for the look into a little known but fascinating facet of American history. If you're looking for a great story, this probably won't suck you in. ...more