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Sheilagh's Brush

by Maura Hanrahan

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women's studies, feminism & feminist theory
list price: $22.95
also available: eBook
category: Fiction
published: 2010

On the cusp of the Depression, Sheilagh Driscoll of isolated Rennie's Bay nearly dies while giving birth prematurely to baby Leah. Sheilagh is attended by a traditional midwife, part Mi'kmaq, Mrs. Mary, as well as by Leah Clarke, a nurse-midwife from England. Baby Leah Mary survives but develops serious asthma, which requires treatment throughout her childhood. Traumatized by the birth, Sheilagh learns about age-old ways of preventing pregnancy. The result is an awakening that impacts on Sheila's relationship with all the women around her, especially her younger sister Claire. Informed by the occasional newspapers and magazines that make their way to Rennie's Bay via sea-going schooners, Claire's worldview contrasts sharply with Sheilagh's. In contrast to Sheilagh's acceptance of life in Rennie's Bay, Claire reacts against it. Claire stumbles into a sexual relationship but sees relations with David--or any man--as a trap and tries to avoid him. She is not entirely successful and finds herself pregnant. Like her sister, she turns to Mrs. Mary for help.

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About the Author

Maura Hanrahan

Maura Hanrahan is the award-winning author of nine books, including The Alphabet Fleet: The Pride of the Newfoundland Coastal Service, Domino: The Eskimo Coast Disaster, Tsunami: The Newfoundland Tidal Wave Disaster—a Canadian Bestseller—and the East Coast favourite, The Doryman. She works as an independent anthropologist on Aboriginal issues throughout Canada. From St. John's, she co-owns HB Creativity, a full-service research and writing company. Maura has a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.
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