Chris's Reviews > The Birth House

The Birth House by Ami McKay
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's review
Dec 29, 2007

it was amazing
Read in December, 2007

Throughly enjoyed this story about a midwife struggling against a changing societal outlook on birth - specifically against a doctor who insists that medical science is best and that she should let go of her witchery and old ways. But Dora, the only daughter in a many generations of men is a natural midwife and continues to help women, even when pushed not to. I found this to be an interesting period piece (early part of the century in Nova Scotia) that reads modern with very likeable characters (except of course the ones that you aren't able to like). I love a good story about midwifery and this is just that -- a good celebration of women, of birth and natural healing arts and ways. Much in the way it is frustrating to read/hear stories about the persecution of midwifes as witches, it was frustrating to hear tell of a time when male doctors thought they knew best how to deal with what (some) women had already mastered - an understanding of their own bodies. There was some very interesting treatments prescribed - such as a vibrator to cure hysteria (pretty funny) and likewise some interesting herbal folklore and real old wives tales which have their name for a reason. Down to earth great story. Loved it.

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