Kirstin's Reviews > A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812

A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
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's review
Feb 06, 2011

bookshelves: started-but-didn-t-finish

In the introduction the author bemoans the fact that earlier reviewers thought the diary of Martha Ballard was too focused on mundane details and not worth studying but I must say I agree with them. There just isn’t enough there to make this a compelling read. Her diary is really more of a log book than a diary. It is a systematic accounting of her and her family members duties, the comings and going of her family, neighbors, and friends (literally this person came, this person went with no story behind it for the most part) and a straightforward accounting of the births she assisted in. It seems to be devoid of opinions, thoughts or anecdotes. I renewed this book from the library the maximum number of times meaning I had it in my home for nine weeks and still didn’t manage to make it more than halfway through.

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