Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Sunday Salon - 'The Birth of Love' Grabs Me

Happy Sunday, bloggers. It's no secret that I've had trouble sinking into a book lately. I pick one up, I read a few pages (or not), I lay it aside. I waffle back and forth, read a few more pages, forget about the book. So on and so forth.

Finally, FINALLY, I made a very bold move. I dropped everything that wasn't blowing my skirt up, and I downloaded a book that was really calling to me: The Birth of Love, by Joanna Kavenna.

I first took note of this British novel when Jackie reviewed it over at Farm Lane Books. In short, it's a story of birth in three different times: a doctor in 1865 Vienna advocates for better hygiene among doctors, a mother in 2009 is having her second child, and in our future babies are farmed but one woman is imprisoned for concealing a pregnancy.

Before Greyson was born I didn't care much for birth stories. I really had no investment in the topic, but since he came along I am far more interested. Since little G is where the majority of my time goes these days, I thought it would be fitting to read a book about birth. This book has been calling to me ever since Jackie posted her review, so there was nothing to hold me back.

Right off the bat, I'm totally enamored of this novel. It really has a little something for everyone: historical, a little sf. The writing seems very tempered. Though it switches times and characters, the writing is quite controlled and carefully paced. I'm only on page 50 or so--transitioning from the portion set in Vienna to the present day--but I cannot wait to see where it goes from here. If Kavenna can exert this much control in her writing, I can't imagine what will happen when the book spirals into some of the more intense sections which I'm sure will come later.

While I hated to lay aside some of the other books I've committed myself to (cough-TheJungle-cough), sometimes it's all there is to be done to avoid an extended slump.

What are you reading? Is it going smoothly or do you feel a slump coming on?


  1. I just got out of a big slump so I know how it feels! It can be so frustrating.

    I love the cover for this book. It is so interesting to look at. I definitely can't wait to hear your thoughts when you finish.

  2. I think that you have to do whatever you can to keep out of a reading slump. This book sounds really, really interesting and now I'm planning on requesting it from the library myself. Thanks!

  3. I am in a bit of a post-Jane Eyre reading slump. I wish I could find the perfect book to pull me out. This sounds very interesting. Would you say it would be of interest to someone who is not planning to have children for a couple of years yet?

  4. I'm so pleased that you are enjoying this one - it is one of my favourites of the year. I'm sure you'll love the rest of it.

    Iris, I think this book will have a special appeal to those who have children, but there is enough to entertain anyone. I hope that you decide to pick it up too :-)

  5. Allie, it is definitely frustrating. And when I'm burned out and unable to make the time to read or get interested, I feel like I'm missing an arm! There are a couple of different covers to this one, but this particular cover is my favorite. Beautiful!

    Samantha, I agree. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am!

    Iris, Jane can do that. I want to re-read it before the film version comes out. I definitely think The Birth of Love has enough to entertain anyone. The historical bits have been particularly fascinating thus far.

    Jackie, I can't imagine I won't love the rest. I will be carving out time at lunch and before bed to read. Don't want to let this one languish too long.

  6. Glad you found something you could stick with. I hate when I'm in that mode of not being able to settle with a book.

  7. Whenever I go through a slump, I pick a classic to get me back into it all. Sometimes I can't get out of reading classics once I start, as I'm going through that right now!

    This book sounds interesting -- might have to go check this one out!

  8. Jackie's review had me adding this one to my wishlist too, so I'm glad to hear you're loving it! I hope to get to it soon!

  9. I'm kind of in a slump right now. Sort of. I've been reading but I've had a hard time finding a book I'm really excited about. I read Middlesex in July and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay in November. Both books quickly became two of my favorite books of all time. I've experienced the same feeling after both of them. The total excitement of reading something I loved and the depression that nothing will be as good as that book.


Thanks for taking the time to comment! Blogger has been a beast lately, so I hope you do not have any troubles leaving your thoughts.

Images by Freepik