Author: Kate Manning
One-sentence summary: A fictional account of a midwife in the mid to late 1800’s who was persecuted for her care for women, which included abortions.
B.A.D. Girls Book Rating: 7
Our favorite thing about it: The history.
Our least favorite thing about it: It was a tad too long.
Main Topics of Discussion: Women, Abortion, Healthcare, History
Our favorite quote: “It always aggravated me to see how the men, most of them, did not want to be bothered for themselves. They wanted the lady to have all the bother.”
Notes: Overall we enjoyed this book, but there were a few things we picked at. First, we felt that the story was slow in places and the book was just generally too long. We thought that if the story was “cleaned up” and “tightened up” a bit, it would have been slightly more satisfying to read.
Also, we had trouble connecting with Axie. Her language, while authentic, may have made her feel separate. And her thought processes and the way she dealt with emotions did not always resonate with us – though those were also very natural for someone with her history. As a narrator as well as main character, we would have liked to be more connected to her somehow.
The history of abortion and also how people thought about it two centuries ago was fascinating. The stories and descriptions of womens’ lives – from all walks – was so interesting as it shed light on the very difficult decisions the women were forced to make. We realized we have taken for granted the ability to control certain aspects of our health with access to birth control. It’s amazing what it means for women when that is not an option.
Likewise the womens’ voices were very interesting to us. The wit and humor of Axie was fun and funny to read. She had a mind of her own and a set of beliefs born out of experience and we loved that about her.
Memorable Meeting Moments: We celebrated Stephanie’s birthday!
What We Ate: A chicken, bacon, and artichoke pizza for an appetizer. Josh also made salmon and orzo with tomato and asparagus. Dara baked an amazing s’mores bar for us!