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The Birth House (2006)

por Ami McKay

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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1,9991108,171 (3.95)266
Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:

The Birth House is the story of Dora Rare, the first daughter to be born in five generations of the Rare family. As a child in an isolated village in Nova Scotia, she is drawn to Miss Babineau, an outspoken Acadian midwife with a gift for healing and a kitchen filled with herbs and folk remedies. During the turbulent first years of World War I, Dora becomes the midwife's apprentice. Together, they help the women of Scots Bay through infertility, difficult labors, breech births, unwanted pregnancies and even unfulfilling sex lives.

But when Gilbert Thomas, a brash medical doctor, comes to Scots Bay with promises of fast, painless childbirth, some of the women begin to question Miss Babineau's methods??and after Miss Babineau's death, Dora is left to carry on alone. In the face of fierce opposition, she must summon all of her strength to protect the birthing traditions and wisdom that have been passed down to her.

Filled with details that are as compelling as they are surprising??childbirth in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion, the prescribing of vibratory treatments to cure hysteria and a mysterious elixir called Beaver Brew??Ami McKay has created an arresting and unforgettable portrait of the struggles that women faced to have control of their own bodies and to keep the best parts of tradition alive in the world of modern medic… (mais)

  1. 10
    The Midwife of Hope River por Patricia Harman (vancouverdeb)
    vancouverdeb: Both books are about midwifery in the early 1920's ,1930's. Both also tackles social issues.
  2. 10
    The Reluctant Midwife por Patricia Harman (4leschats)
    4leschats: Also looks at historical issues within the context of women, births, and midwifery
  3. 00
    Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife por Peggy Vincent (infiniteletters)
  4. 00
    Sex Wars por Marge Piercy (tangledthread)
    tangledthread: also deals with the historical issues of gender politics.
  5. 12
    Practical Magic por Alice Hoffman (JolieLouise)
    JolieLouise: Has a similar "feel" to The Birth House. The difference being that the "remedies" used in The Birth House are more passed down folklore/wisdom whereas the "remedies, etc..." in Practical Magic are more magic/witchcraft. Both books have females as the main characters and the females have the power of healing/magic . . .… (mais)
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Goodreads review: Spanning the 20th century Ami McKay takes a primitive and superstitious rural community in Nova Scotia and creates a rich tableau of characters to tell the story of childbirth from its most secretive early practices to modern maternity as we know it. Epic and enchanting, 'The Birth House' is a gripping saga about a midwife's struggles in the wilds of Nova Scotia. As a child in the small village of Scot's Bay, Dora Rare -- the first female in five generations of Rares -- is befriended by Miss Babineau, an elderly midwife with a kitchen filled with folk remedies and a talent for telling tales. Dora becomes her apprentice at the outset of World War I, and together they help women through difficult births, unwanted pregnancies and even unfulfilling marriages. But their traditions and methods are threatened when a Doctor comes to town with promises of painless childbirth, and sets about undermining Dora's credibility. Death and deception, accusations and exile follow, as Dora and her friends fight to protect each other and the women's wisdom of their community. Hauntingly written and alive with historical detail, 'The Birth House' is an unforgettable, page-turning debut. (less)
  bentstoker | Jan 26, 2024 |
I read this book immediately after reading [book:Fall On Your Knees] by [author:Ann-Marie MacDonald], which was a neat experience because both books take place in the years in the early 1900s in Nova Scotia, Canada. Historical events like The Great War, the Halifax Explosion, and the Influenza Epidemic are included in both books, but the stories are different. It makes for a unique reading experience.
But even without paired reading (because other than setting, the books are completely different), The Birth House is a great read. It provides a look at how the medical profession viewed women in the early 1900s and how common sense can outwit science. It also suggests that the bonds of womanhood are important, but so is independence and affirmation of your identity.
The story made me respect midwifery, and gave me a better understanding of what my sister, who was pregnant while I read the book, might have been going through. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Dec 24, 2023 |
I really liked this story and loved the way it was told. There are a couple of cliche` storielines added to the book that didn't really add to the story but were interesting regardless. Strong female characters were the foundation of this story and why I think I enjoyed it so much. ( )
  MsTera | Oct 10, 2023 |
I wish I could give 4.5 stars as I really, really liked this book. Not quite a 5 but very close. ( )
  beentsy | Aug 12, 2023 |
The Birth house. Ami McKay. 2006. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Dora Rare learned to “birth babies” from Miss B., a Acadian woman who returned to her ancestor’s home in Nova Scotia. Miss B is suspected of being a witch because of her use of herbs, folklore, and mysterious potions. So Dora is suspect too. When a young doctor appears promising painless childbirth for a price, the order of things is upset. Set before, during, and after WWI, this is a fascinating look at the lives of women during this era. It is not for the faint-hearted as there are vivid descriptions of troubled births, sexual problems, wife abuse and other violence. ( )
  judithrs | Jan 12, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 110 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
As with Water for Elephants, this book sat on my 'to-read' list way too long. After finally picking it up from the library, I almost returned it without reading because it just didn't appeal to me. However, I am so happy that I opted to read rather than return.

I loved how the author, Ami McKay, wrote this story. It amazes me to think that the story actually takes place in the early 1900's and during WWI. Other than when the story actually mentioned the war or the fact that there wasn't electricity, you wouldn't have known that it wasn't a modern day story.

Also, I really enjoyed reading about midwifery. I chose to have a 'modern' birth when I had my son (ie. hospital with doctors) but have heard of so many wonderful stories of the 'midwife experience'. By the end of The Birth House, midwifes were becoming extinct and doctors becoming the way of the world... nowadays, it seems as if things are moving back in the other direction as more and more people chose to use a midwife over a doctor for their birthing experience. If only the people of Scots Bay knew this, it would have saved so much trouble

Overall, The Birth House was a wonderful debut novel by a Canadian author. It is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a story about a mother struggle to choose between what everyone says is right and what she feels is right in her heart
 
McKay sets The Birth House against the historical backdrop of war, influenza, the Halifax Explosion, and the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919. Issues of women’s rights and freedoms are never far from the novel’s surface. Gradually Dora becomes the guardian of age-old female knowledge under threat from modern technology. She is forced into the fray when Dr. Gilbert Thomas, an ambitious, unscrupulous obstetrician, arrives in Scots Bay with promises of safe, painless childbirth. Young though she is, Dora knows that pain and danger are inseparable from life. With the staunch support of the Occasional Knitters Society, she fights Thomas’s hostile takeover. He counters with charges of malpractice, precipitating her flight to Boston....Intelligent, quirky, passionate, and funny, it deserves a wide readership and a long shelf life.

adicionada por vancouverdeb | editarQuill &Quire, Maureen Garvie (Jan 9, 2011)
 
The miracle of birth and the struggle to live a good life; the miracle of a good life and the struggle to be born -- these are just a few of the themes explored in Ami McKay's poignant debut novel, The Birth House.

The novel is set in a small Nova Scotia community during a period of great change: in Europe, the First World War is raging. In North America advances in medicine and social organization are radically altering they way people live. It's an era charged with tumult, destruction and social revolution.
A national bestseller, The Birth House won the Ontario Library Association's 2007 Evergreen Award and was named one of the best books of the decade by Chapters Indigo
 

» Adicionar outros autores (2 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Ami McKayautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Diéz Pérez, María JoséTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Malaborza, SonyaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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For my husband, Ian, My heart, my love, my home
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My house stands at the edge of the earth.
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Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:

The Birth House is the story of Dora Rare, the first daughter to be born in five generations of the Rare family. As a child in an isolated village in Nova Scotia, she is drawn to Miss Babineau, an outspoken Acadian midwife with a gift for healing and a kitchen filled with herbs and folk remedies. During the turbulent first years of World War I, Dora becomes the midwife's apprentice. Together, they help the women of Scots Bay through infertility, difficult labors, breech births, unwanted pregnancies and even unfulfilling sex lives.

But when Gilbert Thomas, a brash medical doctor, comes to Scots Bay with promises of fast, painless childbirth, some of the women begin to question Miss Babineau's methods??and after Miss Babineau's death, Dora is left to carry on alone. In the face of fierce opposition, she must summon all of her strength to protect the birthing traditions and wisdom that have been passed down to her.

Filled with details that are as compelling as they are surprising??childbirth in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion, the prescribing of vibratory treatments to cure hysteria and a mysterious elixir called Beaver Brew??Ami McKay has created an arresting and unforgettable portrait of the struggles that women faced to have control of their own bodies and to keep the best parts of tradition alive in the world of modern medic

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