Book Review: The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison

How I got the book?

I got this book while looking for eBooks on sale.  I definitely got intrigued by the title and after I read the premise decided to give it a go.  This book is included in the Kindle Unlimited in case you have the subscription. 

After reading the book I learned that this book won A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016 and Philip K. Dick Award Winner and I also learned that there are other two books that follow this one “The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere 2)” and “The Book of Flora (The Road to Nowhere, 3)”. I definitely would like to read the other two books and get to know the stories of Etta and Flora as humanity is reborn and rebuilt.  Amazon has a great star rating for this book, with over 4.4 out of 5 with over 1700 reviews and can be found in Ebook format, and also as Audiobook, and Paperback.

Information about the book

This was the first fiction novel written by American author Meg Ellison.   She has written three additional books, all science fiction with great reviews and several nominations. 

What is the book about?

As taken from Amazon and Goodreads the premise of the book is:

When she fell asleep, the world was doomed. When she awoke, it was dead.

In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth’s population—killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant—the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power—and the strong who possess it.

A few women like her survived, though they are scarce. Even fewer are safe from the clans of men, who, driven by fear, seek to control those remaining. To preserve her freedom, she dons men’s clothing, goes by false names, and avoids as many people as possible. But as the world continues to grapple with its terrible circumstances, she’ll discover a role greater than chasing a pale imitation of independence.

After all, if humanity is to be reborn, someone must be its guide.

My Personal Opinion:

I read this book and from the very beginning, it was intense.  The plot develops quite fast and soon into the book you realize the size of the world’s human destruction due to the virus.  Just like that you also realize your main character is strong, independent, resourceful, smart, kind and selfish, and determined to survive as she comes into the understanding of the current situation.

The storyline is not very original in terms that other plots are similar showcasing characters that try to deal with the “end of the world” or the “end of the human race”.  However, the fact that the book focuses on the survival of one person and that person being a woman was quite different.  Once we understand that the main character is a former midwife, who witnessed mothers dying while giving birth and infant death when the virus took over, and therefore she is consumed by the possible extinction of all humans while having faith and fighting for her own survival.

The pace of the story was fast, moving from different circumstances as she decides the turns to take during her journey, and introducing characters that greatly affect her journey as her story develops.  Some characters have greater impact and stay longer in the storyline but the way it is written you foresee that a change in the story line will happen and you look forward to the “after”.

The Highlights of the Book:

The storyline combined with the second half of the book was the highlight of the bThe highlight of the book is the story of the journey of the main character.  The determination for survival, the pain of so much death and destruction, the shock of how society can transform in a violent manner when hope is lost. 

The Negatives:

I do not see a negative to this book, while some people may complain that the story line makes men look as monsters, I don’t tent to see social, political, sexual, or financial human depiction as a negative, specially with a work of fiction.  The writers should have the freedom to follow their art, their talents, and we as readers are choosing to read it.  However, I could see how the story can be seen as one sided (feminist) and the way men are portrayed as psycopath, heartless, manipulative, and selfish human beings can be taken a bit of a shock.

Information as found in Amazon:

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ 47North
  • Publication date: October 11, 2016
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 301 pages
  • Genre: Fiction / Science Fiction / Medical Thriller

What are you reading right now? What book would you recomend me? Would you like a personal review to a book? Let me know! I am always looking for recommendations and suggestions to add to my reading list.

Enjoy reading!!!

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