More titles to consider

Shopping Cart

You're getting the VIP treatment!

With the purchase of Kobo VIP Membership, you're getting 10% off and 2x Kobo Super Points on eligible items.



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 medicine.

Book Reviews

The Birth House
Average rating
4.6 / 5
1 person found this helpful
August 18th, 2014
So simple and yet told with such eloquence...The characters leap out of the phenomenon and into your heart. I'd recommend this book to all women.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
1 person found this helpful
October 16th, 2013
I loved this book! A very well written book which includes my favourite passage of any book! It's gritty and real and made me grateful to be alive at this moment in time!
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
1 person found this helpful
Loved this book
August 18th, 2013
When I read this book it took me to another time entirely. Today we rely on doctors for everything medical. But what if you wanted to have your baby at home? Today you might be laughed at but in Nova Scotia in 1917, it was the only way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found Dora's strength as a woman to be refreshing and I wish to be more brave an independent like her.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review

You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices:

  • IOS