Three-Bullet Book Review: CanLit Double-Double
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (1995)
- accolades, awards, "Have you read A Fine Balance? Oh, you really should."
- meandering narrative eased by smooth writing that lets you go with the flow
- very interesting historical setting
No. Despite the rave reviews, I have now abandoned this novel twice. The first time I tried to read it, I got about 60 pages in and then let in languish. This time I read almost 300 pages and still didn't really care about the characters. I used to feel a responsibility to finish books once I'd started them, but life's too short and there are too many other good books to read.
The Birth House by Ami McKay (2006)
- thoughtful exploration of the history of childbirth, particularly the shift from female-centric traditional midwifery to male-dominated obstetrics
- lovely phrase for booze-spiked tea: "tea with mitts!"
- strong portrayal of the power of female friendship, female community
Definitely. The first time I read this, it made me want to go to the Bay of Fundy (one of my favorite spots on the planet), hang out with fantastic women and have a baby. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it a second time as well, even though the novel's ending feels a bit rushed.