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The Birth of Love

Joanna Kavenna

Through the interwoven stories of four very different characters, The Birth of Love explores the intense, conflicting emotions of motherhood as few contemporary novels have dared to do.

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Format
Ebook
ISBN
9780571258543
Date Published
17.06.2010
Delivery
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Summary

Vienna1865: Dr Ignaz Semmelweis has been hounded into a lunatic asylum, ridiculed for his claim that doctors’ unwashed hands are the root cause of childbed fever. The deaths of thousands of mothers are on his conscience and his dreams are filled with blood.
2153: humans are birthed and raised in breeding centres, nurtured by strangers and deprived of familial love. Miraculously, a woman conceives, and Prisoner 730004 stands trial for concealing it.
London in 2009: Michael Stone’s novel about Semmelweis has been published, after years of rejection. But while Michael absorbs his disconcerting success, his estranged mother is dying and asks to see him again. As Michael vacillates, Brigid Hayes, exhausted and uncertain whether she can endure the trials ahead, begins the labour of her second child.

A beautifully constructed and immensely powerful work about motherhood that is also a story of rebellion, isolation and the damage done by rigid ideologies.

JoannaKavenna

Joanna Kavenna grew up in various parts of Britain, and has also lived in the USA, France, Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltic States. Her first book The Ice Museum was about travelling in the North. Her second book, a novel called Inglorious, won the Orange Prize for New Writing. Kavenna’s writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, the…

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