The Doula

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When you come from a family of funeral directors, the telephone rings ominously in the middle of the night. For a doula, it resonates with eager anticipation. Either way, it always means lives are about to change. . . .

It might seem like birth and death lie at opposite ends of a spectrum, but to Carolyn Connors, they are mirror images. Caro is no stranger to death, having grown up in a funeral home, but after witnessing her mother’s miscarriage and her brother’s tragic drowning as a child—neither of which she is allowed to discuss—she chooses to become a doula, celebrating the arrival of life rather than its departure.

When her glamorous lifelong best friend, Mary Grace, calls with the exciting news that she is pregnant, Caro packs up her life and leaves home to be MG’s birthing coach. But tension escalates between Caro and MG’s domineering husband, Brad, and the sensitive doula’s advice falls on deaf ears. MG cuts off all contact until complications with her pregnancy leave her with no one else to call. Hurrying to the unborn child’s rescue and watching the life drain from her best friend’s body, Caro thinks the nightmare can’t get any worse. . . .

Until Brad accuses her of medical malpractice. For the first time in her life, Caro must confront the painful guilt, loss, and shame that have trailed her from the past, leading her to the most profound rebirth of all.
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About the author

Bridget Boland is a writer, yoga teacher, energetic healer, doula, and former attorney. Her work has won the Writers League of Texas Memoir Prize, and the Surrey Writers Conference Nonfiction Contest. She lives in Texas. Learn more about her work at BridgetBoland.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Sep 4, 2012
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781451641523
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Contemporary Women
Fiction / Family Life
Fiction / General
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Things break all the time.
Day breaks, waves break, voices break.
Promises break.
Hearts break.


Every expectant parent will tell you that they don't want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they'd been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of "luckier" parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it's all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She's smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.

Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow's illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?

Emotionally riveting and profoundly moving, Handle with Care brings us into the heart of a family bound by an incredible burden, a desperate will to keep their ties from breaking, and, ultimately, a powerful capacity for love. Written with the grace and wisdom she's become famous for, beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult offers us an unforgettable novel about the fragility of life and the lengths we will go to protect it.
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