Title: The Doula
Author: Bridget Boland
Narrator: Madeleine Maby
Genre: Contemporary Fiction; Women’s Fiction
Audio: 10.7 hours
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Source: Review copy provided by publisher
Book Rating: 4.5/5
Audio Rating: 5/5
Caro had an idyllic childhood, spending summers at their house on Lake Michigan. Until the summer her mom loses a baby and her brother drowns. Then everything changes.
Flash forward 20 years. Caro has recently become a doula, someone who supports the mother during birth. When her best friend, Mary Grace, calls to announce she is pregnant, Caro packs up her things and moves to Wisconsin, finally leaving her mother’s side. She becomes a big proponent of natural childbirth and spends most of her time attending births at a center, rather than a hospital. She makes some wonderful friends and falls in love. But when Mary Grace’s birth doesn’t go as expected, her husband blames Caro and her whole life changes once again.
Having recently gone through the childbirth process myself, I thought a book about a doula would be interesting (I didn’t use a doula but that was role I cast my mom, the ex-L&D nurse, in). The Doula did not disappoint.
It had a little of everything: family drama, friendship, a touch of romance, medicine, law. I was never bored, and I was never sure exactly where the story was going. Caro is haunted by her past and her family, but once she moves to Wisconsin she really starts to come into her own for the first time. Her character is flawed, and the decisions she makes are realistic.
I wasn’t prepared for how big the role of the legal proceedings would be. I tend to shy away from legal dramas, but apart from the times that I was shouting out all of the objections her lawyer was missing, I actually enjoyed reading about a trial for a change.
While I had some personal reasons for enjoying this book, I think it has a wider appeal and can definitely recommend The Doula.
Madeleine Maby was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed her narration and looked forward to listening every chance I got.
I love books about Midwives, but have never read about a doula before, even though I have a friend who is one. I am betting that I would love this, and will have to give it a go, now that you’ve encouraged me 🙂
I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book about a midwife either. I recorded that Call the Midwife show on PBS though so I can check it out.
Sounds good. I’ll keep an eye out for it.
I actually really like books that deal with pregnancy/childbirth (the topic kind of fascinates me), so this sounds like one I might read. Not sure if you want to read more of the same topic, but the Birthmarked trilogy by Caragh M. O’Brien is great (dystopian). I also read The Birth House by Ami McKay, which was good, but not great.
Thanks for the recommendations!
I haven’t listened to Madeleine Maby, but you enjoy her so much I need to.
I have seen this one around and wondered what it was about. Your review has me curious now. I wanted a midwife for my second pregnancy but was told that legally she could not take me on as a patient because my first birth was through C-section. I live in Quebec. So when you mentioned legal implications in your review, I thought about my own situation. Will keep this one in mind. Thanks for the review!