Saturday, March 09, 2019

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison


When the disease hit, the midwife was right in the thick of it working at the hospital as it took out almost all females and children. No babies survived childbirth and hardly any of the mothers. Men were contracting the disease as well, but the mortality rate wasn't as high as the females. When she falls sick she thinks this is the end for her as well.

Waking up in the hospital after society has fallen, the first thing she must do is find supplies. She soon runs in to two men, one of which is cooking food and invites her to eat. After eating, they enter a mall for supplies and when others in the mall learn there is a female, they attack. The men manage to keep them away but cut ties with her after that. They can't be responsible for keeping a female safe in these conditions. Many females are being kept as slaves and raped daily since there are so few.

Back on her own, she changes her appearance to be as male as possible and runs in to more people. Both those that want to help her and those that want to hurt her. She also finds a few small groups of people that are working together to survive.

I could not put this book down. I was completely invested in the midwife surviving her journey, wherever it was going to lead to. There were some interesting characters introduced along the way but all of them in passing. This tale, for the most part, is pretty lonely, but there are some relationships and companionship that give a bit of light to this overall dark tale.

First Line: "Mother Ina tapped her fingers on her hollow wooden belly."


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