The Birth of Love
Metropolitan (Holt), Apr 13 2010, $14.00
"The Moon". In 1865 Vienna, obstetrician Professor Ignaz Semmelweis fails in his efforts to find the fundamental cause of deadly childbed fever though he felt sanitary conditions played a major role. He mentally falls apart from depression as the vision of all the women he failed to save visits him in his mind; leading to an asylum.
"The Empress". In 2009 London, Brigid Hayes is in severe pain from labor as she is about to give birth to her second child.
"The Hermit". Across town from Brigit, failed author Michael Stone finally is published with his work The Moon focusing on Semmelweis. However, he feels overcome with finally making it as a novelist and fearful with what next.
"The Tower". In 2153 prisoners 730004, 730005 and 730006 stand trial for treasonous behavior against the Protectors who enforce ultra sanitary conditions on a near extinct humanity. No one is allowed to do anything against the leaders keeping the species safe from itself.
Although rotating the stories through two cycles is a distracter even as that technique tries to interconnect the stories, the four well written tales are filled with timely symbolism. The book is filled with irony as those who demand less government in people’s lives demand more government in pregnant women’s lives. Each entry is solid and loaded with metaphors leading the audience to ponder the roles of do-gooder outsiders directing what pregnant women can do (past, present and future).