A debut novel for readers of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Girls, The Birth Yard is a gripping story of a young woman’s rebellion against the rules that control her bodySable Ursu has just turned eighteen, which means she is ready to breed. Within the confines of her world, a cult known as the Den, female fertility and sexuality are wholly controlled by Men. In the season they come of age, Sable and her friends Mamie and Dinah are each paired with a Match with the purpose of conceiving a child. Sable is paired with Ambrose, the son of a favoured Man in the Den. Others are not so lucky.In their second trimester, girls are sent to the Birth Yard, where they are prepared for giving birth and motherhood, but are also regularly drugged and monitored by their midwives. Sable is unable to ignore her unease about the pills they are forced to swallow and the punishments they receive for stepping out of line. Too many of the girls, including Mamie and Dinah, have secrets and it is impossible to know whom to trust. When Sable’s loyalty is questioned and her safety within the Den is threatened, she must rebel against the only life she has ever known—the only life she has been designed for.
Mallory Tater weaves an intricate narrative, equal parts suspense and action, while twisting contemporary social anxieties to dizzying extremes. She meticulously deconstructs the intricate relationships between womanhood, government and the female body. A startling and important debut novel, The Birth Yard echoes dark and cautionary classics. But this is no dystopian word; there is no totalitarian government. The Den exists now.”
Order it here: https://www.harpercollins.ca/9781443458245/the-birth-yard/
“As the story unfolds – and especially when Sable is taken to the Birth Yard – the dangers that seemed abstract and theoretical become all too real. Although the first chapter is a bit heavy on exposition, The Birth Yard is a propulsive read that is able to keep its larger issues fully up front while at the same time telling a smaller, more intimate story of a young woman coming into her own, developing her strength and force against a world opposed to her. The novel is horrific in many ways, but the horror is one of recognition: Sable’s world is right next door – and all around us.” — Robert J. Wiersema, Quill and Quire (https://quillandquire.com/review/the-birth-yard/)
“What makes [The Birth Yard] so gripping and so worth reading is the heightened tension Tater weaves into the narrative. Writing “Men” instead of “men” or “The Den” instead of “the den” is a skillful move on Tater’s part because it grounds the narrative in Sable’s perspective. Page after page, the reader roots for Sable, wanting her to reach a breakthrough and realize the horrors of the world she lives in.” — Manahil Bandukwala, Canthius Journal. (http://www.canthius.com/feed-2/2020/2/4/review-of-the-birth-yard-by-mallory-tater)
“With enough exquisite detail to draw a provocative landscape paired with fast-paced action, The Birth Yard had me up all night. Mallory Tater has build an intricate and devious world and then walked us directly into the middle of it. Thankfully, she has also given us the strong and conflicted Sable Ursu to walk us back out.”– Cherie Dimaline, Author of The Marrow Thieves & Empire of Wild.