Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Birth House - Book Review


The Birth House - by Ami McKay



I'm a bit of a home birth nut so when I saw a book review on Mrs Read-a-lots book club written by Leonie at the beginning of this year I knew I wanted to read it.

The Birth House by Ami McKay is a story about a midwife during the first world war in Nova Scotia, Canada.

I laughed, cried, nodded in agreement, gasped in horror and was incredibly thankful I am living in the time that I do.

The Birth House is set right as doctors and science began to take over birthing mothers. Its long been known that if you are having a normal birth (no complications) the safest place for you in is your own environment with supportive people around you. This story is set in the beginning of that time, where it was thought that every birthing mother should be relieved of their pain, put to sleep and have the baby taken out of them.

My favourite extract from the book that depicts this senario:
Page 110:
" Ginny's child is extracted. His head misshaped, a little bruised, breathing like he's exhausted and can't catch any air... Ginny's eyes open and her hand reaches out to me. The rest of her body is still, as if she's afraid to question what's just happened. There was no moment of celebration at the end. She's feeling left behind, unsure. The doctor sees this as normal. A kind of bliss... She's weak on her feet. She can't keep food down. She thanks him for his accomplishment. She waits to hold her child."

Home birthing aside, this is mostly of a tale of life during the war for women left behind, while most are left unsatisfied by their (i'll say it, abusive) husbands and are looking to find their place in the world. A time right before electricity, before women had the vote, and women were being masturbated by their doctors to treat their "hysteria" (there, I said it)

While this story isn't epic (no huge twists or turns or battle scenes) if flows smoothly in the form of the young midwifes diary, telling the happenings of her small town as she seems them. Avery good easy read that makes you feel well connected with the female embodiment.



8 comments:

  1. Glad you enjoyed it Sophie! I still have fond memories of it! x

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    1. Thanks for the initial review Leonie! You sold it to me! x

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  2. Can I just say that I LOVE your new tag line for this??

    The book sounds great, too. Might have to add it to my list of books to read x

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    Replies
    1. The skinny line? Why thank you! ;)

      DO IT.

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  3. I read this last year when ^Leonie^ raved about it on her blog!
    LOVED it and highly recommend it to all

    Have experienced birth from both sides . . . there is a time and place for each . . . without an emergency c-section I wouldn't have Philosopher .. .. ..

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    1. Meee too (except 5 months later, whoops!)

      Absolutely Cat! My thoughts and agreements exactly! :) x

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  4. I read this too after seeing it recommended...I loved it....not sure what I was expecting to start with but just loved where it went.
    x

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    1. Same here Bron, a beautiful story :) x

      (dont you love an old fashioned rebel?!)

      x

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