Review: The Abortionist’s Daughter

Anni Adalia
The Coil
Published in
2 min readJul 13, 2016


Historical Fiction
335 pages
6” x 9” perfect-bound trade paperback
ISBN 978–0989372008
First Edition
Available HERE
Review originally published on 2/2/15

Elisa DeCarlo does an incredible job taking you through the life of a 24-year-old small town girl in the early 1900s in her work of historical fiction, The Abortionist’s Daughter. This novel is a gritty tale of how Melanie’s position in society is turned upside down as the town discovers that her father has been performing abortions when one of his patients dies. It is a coming-of-age story of Melanie being whisked away to New York City in her naiveté, being used by a con-man, and having to find a way to make her own in the world. When she meets a new man in town, you fear that the story might become more of a romance novel, but DeCarlo is impeccable in her style and keeps the focus of the story on the characters at hand.

DeCarlo develops Melanie from a girl with her head in the clouds who knows nothing about the gritty realities of life, into a commanding woman who needs to be rescued by no one. You can’t help but cheer for Melanie when she is able to face the man who almost ruined her life and have a verbal sparring match that leaves him in the dust.

[…] She smiled at him, but it was more of a grimace than a smile. “But you don’t have to worry, everything has been all taken care of. Gladys has been taken care of, too, did you know that? She had an abortion. She aborted your baby. And I arranged it.” […] (p. 319)

The Abortionist’s Daughter is one hundred percent a read worth your time that begins touching on feminist changes of mind and the questioning of old-fashioned morals. After all, who doesn’t love a woman who can stand up and hold her own in the end?



Anni Adalia
The Coil
Writer for

reader & writer of interesting things | greenwitch | tarot reader | may be found trekking the Globe with my trusted pup and 35mm