Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
9 out of 10
on 6 October 2007
I thoroughly enjoyed this, a warm story wrapped in an historical blanket.
The descriptions were excellent and I found myself there with Dora through her struggles and successes. The book is very evocative of the battles women faced to make their own choices and of a life of hard work lived in an isolated community.
Dora Rare, a bit of a loner amongst her peers, is chosen by the local elderly midwife to train in the arts of midwifery and herbal remedies. Unfortunately this natural succession is interrupted by the arrival of a new age doctor, advocating pain free births in the new modern hospital. It seems he has the law on his side and home births become 'outdated'. As the women fight for their right to choose, this battle becomes symbolic of all the things in their lives that are decided for them.
Alongside this central theme are woven details of several events that occurred at the time: the Halifax bomb, the Boston flu of 1918, the first world war and the struggles of the suffragettes.
Well researched and well written, I thoroughly recommend this book.