The Midwife of Venice
The Midwife of Venice
By Roberta Rich
Gallery Books, Paperback, 9781451657470, 335pp.
Publication Date: February 14, 2012
Hannah Levi is renowned throughout Venice for her gift at coaxing reluctant babies from their mothers using her secret birthing spoons. When a count implores her to attend his dying wife and save their unborn son, she is torn. A Papal edict forbids Jews from rendering medical treatment to Christians, but his payment is enough to ransom her husband Isaac, who has been captured at sea. Can she refuse her duty to a woman who is suffering? Hannah's choice entangles her in a treacherous family rivalry that endangers the child and threatens her voyage to Malta, where Isaac, believing her dead in the plague, is preparing to buy his passage to a new life. Told with exceptional skill, The Midwife of Venice brings to life a time and a place cloaked in fascination and mystery and introduces a captivating new talent in historical fiction.
“Rich skillfully incorporates a wealth of historical detail into her riveting tale of a heroine who won't give up on her marriage.”—Chicago Tribune
"Riveting and compulsively readable,The Midwife of Venice combines fast- paced adventure with richly evocative historical writing." — Freshfiction.com
“A cliffhanger-strewn debut … breathless historical adventure.”—Kirkus Reviews
"Successfully captures the seedy side of 16-century Venice." — Publishers Weekly
"Rich’s fascinating historical details and her warm empathy for her protagonists will capture historical fiction fans and readers who enjoyed Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent." —Library Journal
“By definition, novels set in Venice must exude atmosphere, and this one positively drips with it. …Rich capably depicts the strength of women and the precariousness of their lives.” —The Globe and Mail (Canada)
“The Midwife of Venice is one of the best novels to be written in the genre of historical fiction since The Girl with the Pearl Earring.” —Blogcritics.org
"An engrossing, well-written, and fast-paced story about a fascinating period in history. The descriptions of sixteenth century Venice were so vivid, they were almost tangible."
-Joy Fielding, New York Times bestselling author of Charley's Web
"A compelling and engaging novel, a well-researched high-stakes drama written with elegance and compassion: fascinating!"
-Sandra Gulland, author of The Josephine B. Trilogy and Mistress of the Sun
"A meticulously researched page-turner that evokes renaissance Venice with remarkable clarity, radiance, and vigour."
-William Deverell, author of Mind Games