As always, Ann Patchett can spin a good yarn. Her strength is her ability create unusual mixes of characters and to force them together in unusual settings. She is a delightful story teller. However, this story grew stale very quickly.
The devil is in the details. The premiss of this tale is just too silly to carry off. The doctors involed are barely a day from civilization -- yet they cannot be found. They are first rate doctors, but neglect to supply thmselves with even a modestlt adequate set of medical tools and supplies. They are trained in gynocology, but cannot forsee any downside to frail arthritic 70 year old women having babies.
I was more annoyed by the incosistencies in the plot and premis than I was thrilled with the tale. This is not a second "Bel Canto".
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