Reviews for Rosina, the Midwife


"Klutheís pursuit of answers, interwoven with her own lifeís joys and sorrows, rounds out the emotional satisfaction quotient of the book, making Rosina a 'canít put down' book for any season." —Vicki Ziegler, for 49th Shelf's summer recommendations

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"Kluthe constructs and simultaneously unpacks the life of Rosina in this evocative, layered memoir, structuring the narrative in a way that permits the reader to unpack along with her, to share the same curiosity and discoveries, to pin personal history and womenís history onto the map of world events and their own family tales." —Edmonton Journal

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"This isnít just the story of one woman and her questions about her ancestor; in many ways, this is a universal story that will appeal to anyone who has done genealogy work or wondered about their ancestors and family history." —Daily Herald Tribune

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"In language that is spare and breathtakingly beautiful, Kluthe has written a book which carves new paths for literary nonfiction to follow." —Coastal Spectator

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"Tender yet thorough, as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking." —St. Albert Gazette

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"The book explores the idea of the small town experience and the author sees parallels between that experience and the life her ancestors lived growing up in small villages—connections between people that happen over generations." —The Morinville News

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Rosina, the Midwife makes the 49th Shelf's "The Books We're Waiting For: Spring Preview 2013."

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ďíIt may be possible to live more than one life at a time, or at least imagine another life so fully it feels real, feels lived—life synchrony.í Thatís what happens in this complex, deftly written family history. Jessica Kluthe brings into her world and into ours her great-great-grandmother, Rosina, the mother of five children and a midwife in Calabria. Kluthe creates this synchrony out of a photograph, bits of family stories, and the common, deeply rooted knowledge of love, birth and loss that resides in the female body. With poetic detail and imagery, she brings to the page the darkness of Mussoliniís Italy, the smells, sights and sounds of the streets, the kitchens and the birthing rooms. Kluthe responds to the ancient tug of the past and makes it come alive through the power of her imagination and her willingness to set it beside her own story set in contemporary Canada. Itís impossible to believe this is a first book. Itís too wise, too well constructed, too lyrical in its pain and beauty.Ē —Lorna Crozier


ďKluthe masterfully weaves together imagination, family legends, history and an account of a trip to Calabria to tell her compelling story, to link subtly here and there, then and now.Ē —Caterina Edwards