** spoiler alert **
I went back and forth on this a lot while reading it. I wasn't interested in the very poetic, evocative, non-plot-related writery bits at the beginning. I just wanted to get into the actual story. Which was great. When the book got my attention it certainly held it. I loved the camaraderie that eventually forms between Dora and the women from "away" and I found the tension between the new doctor and the old midwife really captivating. However, a lot of the challenges faced by Dora as the plot progressed were solved in a very pat manner. Her mentor dies and just vanishes. Her evil husband falls off a boat and is never seen again. Her criminal charges are dropped, the doctor she's feuding with just closes his clinic etc etc etc. I sort of wishes some of the negative aspects of the story were carried through to more probable ends. All that said, I enjoyed the book and the amazing look into the world of healing in the early nineteen hundreds in the very remote maritimes.