Jane Angier won't stop helping women, even if it kills her. And it might.
Trapped in a granite cell, a nineteenth century midwife awaits her trial for the crime of helping women time their pregnancies. Or is she guilty of something far worse?
A trapper’s daughter, Jane Angier is a woman of the woods, a free spirit, and a misfit in the Loyalist colony of Queen’s Bay, New Brunswick, a beautiful seaside town with ugly secrets. The community is suffering through a set of economic and social disasters. A boatload of Irish immigrants threatens the town with a typhoid epidemic, the bottom has fallen out of the timber trade, and cheap rum turns everyone mean. When Jane loses her family to typhoid, the Queen’s Bay midwife takes her on as an apprentice. After Jane takes over the practice, she develops and sells “Jane’s Cure for Female Irregularities,” a very effective and popular remedy for late periods.
Jane’s success threatens the poorly trained doctor trying to grow his practice. He is also threatened by Jane’s very close relationship with his wife, a brilliant woman mired in a bad marriage. When Jane helps a rape victim abort, the community's powerful men unite to get her out of Queen's Bay, preferably at the end of a rope.
Jane’s Cure is a harrowing tale of women who dare to exercise control over their bodies as they struggle against the first, but not the last, laws banning abortion.