Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blog Tour: The Doula by Bridget Boland

The Doula by Bridget Boland
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: September 4, 2012

 Growing up in a family that owns a funeral home, Carolyn Connors chooses to be a doula.  Helping mothers through their childbirth is more to her liking than shuttling people to the gates of death.  When her best friend Mary Grace asks her to be her doula, she gladly moves to Milwaukee to help her despite her premonitions of doom.  Her worst fears come true when Mary Grace dies shortly after giving birth.  The nightmare is only beginning when Mary Grace's husband decides to sue her.

Carolyn lives her life for others.  Her brother Paulie dies when she is 12 and her mother who had just had a miscarriage enters an extended period of depression.  But Carolyn also finds a bottle of pills when her mother miscarries and realizes that her mom probably induced the miscarriage (aka home abortion).  Carolyn takes responsibility for running the family.  She even becomes a nurse and works with her mother.  All the while, Mary Grace and Carolyn's siblings leave the nest and make their own lives.  Carolyn stays at home -  even sleeping in bed with her mom!!! - until the death of one of her patients while she was in nursing school.  So it's not surprising that she would pack up her life and move states to help out her best friend.  Even when Mary Grace sports some unmentioned implants and Mary Grace's husband clearly has some unexplained hostility to her. Carolyn grows over the course of the novel.  I was flabbergasted by the lengths she goes to in order to protect her clearly mentally ill mother and her super unhealthy relationship with her mother.   From allowing everyone to use her a crutch, she stands up for herself literally. 

Bridget Boland's writing is great but Carolyn was a difficult character to get into.  She seems to have some sort of foresight or prescience which she just chooses to ignore.  Even when a colleague advises her to fall back from the Mary Grace situation, she still charges in.  What's the use of ESP if you choose to ignore it?  Almost every conflict in her life is caused by Carolyn making the worst possible decision in every situation.  

**This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.**

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