The Midwife Of Venice, Paperback book

The Midwife Of Venice[Paperback]

by Roberta Rich

3.69 out of 5 (21 ratings)

Ebury Press 
Publication Date:
15 October 2011 
Historical Fiction 


At midnight, the dogs, cats, and rats rule Venice. The Ponte di Ghetto Nuovo, the bridge that leads to the ghetto, trembles under the weight of sacks of rotting vegetables, rancid fat, and vermin. Seeping refuse on the streets renders the pavement slick and the walking treacherous. It was on such a night that the men came for Hannah. Hannah Levi is famed throughout Venice for her skills as a midwife but, as a Jew, the law forbids her from attending a Christian woman. However, when the Conte appears at her door in the dead of night, Hannah's compassion is sorely tested. And with the handsome reward he is offering, she could ransom back her husband, currently imprisoned on the island of Malta. But if she fails in her endeavours to save mother and child, will she be able to save herself, let alone her husband?

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  • Originally Reviewed at:Mother/Gamer/WriterRating: 5 out of 5 ControllersReview Source: Gallery BooksReviewer: HeatherThe Midwife of Venice is a historically set novel that brings us deep into the life of Hannah and Issac, a childless couple of the late 1500′s. Hannah is a midwife, and Issac is a merchant who has been taken captive. Without a way to raise his ransom Hannah is left in their Venetian home (the ghetto where Jews are forced to live) to fend for herself.One fateful evening she finds herself roused from her bed, and begged to attend to the Conte’s wife who has been laboring for days. While delivering babies, difficult babies, is a specialty of Hannah’s, it is illegal for a Jewish woman (or man) to attend to a Christian. She will risk not only her own life, but also her husband’s and those who reside in the ghetto if she accepts.Will Hannah break Papal law in order to save the man she loves? If the baby dies will the Conte hold her responsible? Can Issac survive the life of a slave, beaten and starved, until Hannah can raise the ransom?Refreshing, informative, historical, and downright touching are the words that come to mind when I think back to the words that graced the pages of this phenomenal romance novel. I enjoyed the religious history as well as the extensive descriptiveness to the point where I may never look at salt, the ocean, or even a silk worm the same way again.The character development was excellent, and I found myself really connecting with Hannah. I think most women will on some level. She wasn’t extraordinary, but she was bright and she had drive. Even when faced with doing the right thing (and breaking the laws of the Catholic Church) Hannah chose to take a leap. These choices continue as the book progresses, but I don’t want to give too much away.Roberta Rich is an author I plan to start following, while I love my paranormal and fantasy reads, I have always loved historical romance. There is something about stepping back in time, and walking in another person’s shoes. At times I find them far more interesting than boring lessons we learned back in school. If only more books graced our desks, than perhaps more would come to love the times that have passed us by, and possibly less would be forgotten about how life used to be

    5.00 out of 5


  • The Good Stuff Fast paced and intriguing, which surprised me Likeable realistic characters that you cheer for that they will be able to overcome the obstacles and reunite Storyline switches between Issac and Hannah's POV - which keeps you intrigued as many of the chapters end with an almost cliffhanger like ending and than it switches to the other character. Didn't want to put the book down Some beautiful touching moments that made me tear up Author has a gift for making you see the landscape and feel the mood of the story Obviously well researched It still astounds me how often the Jews have been persecuted and this story brings more of these instances to lifeThe Not So Good Stuff Took me a chapter or two to get into the story which might put off a more reluctant readerFavorite Quotes/Passages"Do all Jews reply to a question with another question?"Is there a reason they should not?"Gertrudis gave a a laugh that seemed to issue from deep within her.""This is your last chance. Will you sign?""When all the teeth have fallen out of my head and my beard is down to my waist," Isaac answered"Then my friend make peace with that harsh God of yours. This island will be your graveyard.""And the Society for the Release of Captives offered me my freedom months ago if I signed a divorce. But without you, what was the point of freedom?"Who Should/Shouldn't Read Perfect beach or cold winters night read Definitely for lovers of historical fiction especially Jewish historical fiction This is one that anyone can enjoy even younger readers 13+4.75 Dewey'sMy sister lent this to me because she really enjoyed (And put to the top of my TBR list because of the Random Reader Historical Challenge)

    5.00 out of 5


  • I enjoyed The Midwife of Venice very much. It is difficult to find good historical fiction and this book is very well done. The historical period is well portrayed, but not at the expense of an exciting story. The attendance of Hannah at the birth of the Christian child at the beginning of the book was so well depicted that the reader could not help but want to rush on reading to find out what the consequences of her actions would be. Novels with strong female characters are a treat to read.

    5.00 out of 5


  • Fabulous, riveting, exciting, beautifully written . . . I don't have space to write all the wonderful adjectives that describe this book.Two parallel stories about a couple, fighting, striving, doing anything to be together.The author is a genius, giving you one mouth watering chapter, only to end it with a cliff hanger, then she masterfully switches to the opposite mate's tale. Of course ending that with a cliff hanger.You'd think it would be repetitive NO!Roberta Rich is a master and you hold your breath until the chapters merge for one exciting conclusion. WOWOWOW.I can't wait to read more of her work.

    5.00 out of 5


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