Last year I was taking a trip to Poland for a film festival, and as I was packing to go, a friend stopped by and dropped off this book. I was in a rush, so I thanked her, stuffed it in my carry-on and completely forgot about it. A week later on my flight back to Canada, I was rummaging through my bag for anything edible, and came across the book. Why not give it a bit of a read? Its not like I’ve got anything to do on the plane? So, I curled up with the scratchy airline blanket and began to read…and read…and read. I was hooked.
The story follows Dora Rare, a young girl growing up in an isolated village in Nova Scotia. The only daughter of seven children, she befriends an eccentric Acadian midwife, Miss Babineau, who has the gift of healing. Soon, Dora begins working with the midwife as an apprentice, helping the women of Scots Bay with all the difficulties that women face with their own bodies – painful labours, unwanted pregnancies, infertility and breech births. As Miss B. and a growing Dora struggle to keep the tradition of midwifing alive, modern medicine is starting to encroach on their little village.
This was an unforgettable story that shows the power and struggles of women, within their own body and within their community. This is a must read for all women, of any age. Its fulfilling, uplifting and at times heartbreaking. This is a great read for book clubs and if you read this, I encourage you to pass it on. For a first novel, Amy McKay’s has made a truly wonderful debut. I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.
For more information on this book, visit Ami McKay’s website.