Customer Reviews for

The Birth House

Average Rating 4.5
( 192 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(99)

4 Star

(59)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

24 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

I am an avid reader and have never felt the need to write a revi

I am an avid reader and have never felt the need to write a review, until now. This book draws you in and you can not put it down. I am a OB nurse and did find myself facinated by the various topics in the book. Some I agreed with and some I disagreed with but was alw...
I am an avid reader and have never felt the need to write a review, until now. This book draws you in and you can not put it down. I am a OB nurse and did find myself facinated by the various topics in the book. Some I agreed with and some I disagreed with but was always able to feel the struggle in the Dora when she had to make the decision that was right for her patients. A Must Read for any woman. We have come a long way since 1917!

posted by Morganmom40 on September 8, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Fun book...

This was a fun book to read and it has a good story behind it. The birth house probably existed back in the early 1900's. This story was written about a little town in Nova Scotia and Ami McKay made it so realistic making the reader feel like you were living the story...
This was a fun book to read and it has a good story behind it. The birth house probably existed back in the early 1900's. This story was written about a little town in Nova Scotia and Ami McKay made it so realistic making the reader feel like you were living the story. The magical remedies that Miss B and Dora used for healing, birthing, etc., made it a fun and interesting book.

posted by C.Lewis on January 8, 2012

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  • Posted September 8, 2012

    I am an avid reader and have never felt the need to write a revi

    I am an avid reader and have never felt the need to write a review, until now. This book draws you in and you can not put it down. I am a OB nurse and did find myself facinated by the various topics in the book. Some I agreed with and some I disagreed with but was always able to feel the struggle in the Dora when she had to make the decision that was right for her patients. A Must Read for any woman. We have come a long way since 1917!

    24 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2009

    A really good read! A must for any mother!

    Ami McKay does an outstanding job of describing the place and characters who inhabit Scots Bay, Nova Scotia during the turn of the century. Her vivid descriptions of available medical care for pregnant women at that time will make your hair stand on end. This book reads more like a biography than a work of fiction, but the conflicts of fighting for women's rights are as true today as they were then. This is so much more than a simple book about a midwife in rurual Nova Scotia. Her character descriptions and locale description take me to Scots Bay, and although this is a work of fiction, everything in this book could have happened. I know because I grew up in Scots Bay and I have heard the stories of the birth house for years. This is a truly wonderful book to read, or give as a gift. I have personally given away many copies to women friends and relatives, including two nurses who have in turn given other friends copies of this book. Any woman, especially any mother, will love this book.

    20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2013

    I have been exceptionally lucky, lately, for having found novels

    I have been exceptionally lucky, lately, for having found novels that are compelling, complex works of true literature that transcend most of the shoddy and superficial fiction that I find today in bookstores. The Birth House proved to be everything a novel should be, with its firm standing in historical accuracy and its humanistic characters with such depth that readers can actually feel. This novel was a truly unique read that I am so happy to have found.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2008

    Loved it!

    I couldn't put it down! Ami's vocabulary was a little difficult for me to understand at first, but the story sucked me in. I recommend it to any woman. The topic of midwifery interested me and the history of the town and the feelings of a girl becoming a woman kept me feeling connected to the main character.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Fun book...

    This was a fun book to read and it has a good story behind it. The birth house probably existed back in the early 1900's. This story was written about a little town in Nova Scotia and Ami McKay made it so realistic making the reader feel like you were living the story. The magical remedies that Miss B and Dora used for healing, birthing, etc., made it a fun and interesting book.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A must read for any woman!

    I love this book. It is a sad look back at how women had to live their lives in a rural community without access to any real medical care. It also shows how much progress we have made in no longer just being our husbands property. Dora Rare is a strong, independent woman in a rural area so of course she had to be a witch like her strong, independent mentor. How could a woman want to live alone without a husband?! I didn't want to put the book down. Some parts just make you want to reach out to the people involved and help them.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Good read for any mother

    I enjoyed this short story ( 320 pgs), brought a positive light to mid-wives and the strength of a woman. Nicely written from the perspective of a young mid-wife, her story tells the struggle of womans rights and the strength to empower your beliefs when against the odds.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Great book

    Very interesting. Could not put down. Loved it.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Excellent book

    Loved this book. So interesting and suspenseful and tragic and romantic. It had a peppering of everything that makes a great book.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    terrific historical tale

    In Scots Bay, Nova Scotia, Dora Rare lived up to her surname having been the first female offspring in five generations. Because she was so rare, the midwife Marie ¿Miss B¿ Babineau mentors her in the art of herbal healing including ending a pregnancy. In 1917 when Dora was eighteen, her father and five uncles, all shipbuilders, construct her home overlooking the Bay of Fundy, which soon becomes the local birth house. Not long afterward, Dr. Gilbert Thomas arrives in the village setting up a practice in which he claims painless births at his clinic. He begins a clever campaign to undermine the competition by insisting he provides the most modern scientific techniques while the midwives offer superstition, questionable methods, and pain though he ignores the comparative costs as his charges leave most locals financially strapped. As the women debate tradition vs. scientific progress, Miss B dies making it even easier for Dr. Thomas to claim superiority as his rival is young with limited experience. --- This is a terrific historical tale that looks closely at the debate of ¿progress¿ vs. tradition with the changeover during an age when doctors begin replacing midwives as health providers. The characters are purposely stereotyped to emphasize their perspectives on the debate however, whereas Miss B and Dora seem kind and caring towards their patients, Thomas appears arrogant with more concern over his needs though he is competent. Ami McKay has provided an interesting WW I Canadian tale that is apropos to much of the argument over medical scientific research (and other social issues) making headlines today. --- Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    One of my favorites

    I just finished reading this one fir the second time. It always brings many emotions to me about women and the things they survive for the love of thier children. Also, as a labor and delivery nurse it is refreshing to read how midwivery was practiced and the art of some of it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2011

    Good prose, plenty to think about.

    Made me wish I had had a midwife. Started knitting mittens again.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Amazing story

    This book sings like the old folk group Barachois that came out of the same area.

    Dora is as rare as a Rare woman is, the first girl in 5 generations. Because she is who she is, the midwife takes her under her wing, teaching the old ways.

    In the early 20th century the world is changing, but sometimes the changes bring death and destruction with war and the industrial revolution pushing women and their knowledge farther back.

    But women like Dora push back as they find and share their lives and support each other.

    This book is reminiscent of Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic. I'll sing it's praises as loud as I can.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Decent Read

    This was a good read, a little slow at times but Im glad I read it. The story is interesting and gives you a look at life for women during that time period.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2008

    Eye Opening

    I finished this book in less than 2 weeks... I thought as a woman - this really opens your eyes as to what it was like for woman who had the experience to share with midwives and how today's medicinal views changed everything. This was absolutely excellent... I would recommend !

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2007

    Couldn't put it down

    This book is not just about births. The characters are very involved, and it is an interesing read!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

    Excellent imagery

    Really enjoyed this book. Highly recommend if you enjoy historical fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

    Engaging beginning...

    I was really pulled into this story in the beginning, but lost interest in about the fourth chapter. I felt like the story went all over the place after that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    A really great read

    Quick, easy read. Hated to see it come to an end. Characters are easy to follow and love all the different personalities. Highly reccomend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    A wonderful story!

    Engaging read! So interesting! I recommend this book whole-heartedly!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 192 Customer Reviews
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