The Midwife of Venice Paperback – March 26 2013
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- Publisher : Anchor Canada (March 26 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0385679483
- ISBN-13 : 978-0385679480
- Item Weight : 340 g
- Dimensions : 13.13 x 2.31 x 20.27 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #109,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
—The Globe and Mail
“A lavishly detailed historical novel.”
“Enticing.... An adventure filled with love, intrigue, murder and unbreakable loyalty in a renaissance city where exotic perfumes and foul odours almost seem to waft off the page.”
“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
“Not only did Roberta Rich transport me to sixteenth-century Venice, with its seductive tapestry of smells, sights, textures and beliefs, she involved me in a poignant story of seasoned love. I don’t know which I admired more — the wonderfully realized setting or the suspenseful story of Hannah and Isaac.”
— Katherine Ashenburg, author of The Dirt on Clean
“A suspenseful tale.... The book is obviously well researched, and its descriptions of Venice and Malta are both fascinating and realistic.”
— Vancouver Sun
“Roberta Rich plunges into the stench, intrigue and skulduggery of 16th-century plague-ridden Venice.... Rich revels in the details of light, smell, sound, and larger-than-life characters.”
— More Magazine
“Rich successfully captures the seedy side of 16th-century Venice—the Jewish ghetto, the plague, the confluence of religious and legal authority.”
“Entertainingly suspenseful.... [A] moving melodrama of steadfast love against all odds. In a series of cliff-hanging chapters, Hannah transforms from a “timid little ghetto mouse” into a resourceful young woman as she seeks to save her husband and an innocent child.... 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.”
Rich skillfully incorporates a wealth of historical detail into her riveting tale of a heroine who won't give up on her marriage.”
About the Author
Born in Buffalo, New York, Roberta Rich was until recently a lawyer practicing family law. She has also been a student, waitress, nurses’ aide, hospital admitting clerk, and factory assembly line worker. She currently divides her time between Vancouver, B.C. and Colima, Mexico. She is married and has one daughter, three step-children, a German Shepherd, tropical fish and many oversexed parakeets. The Midwife of Venice marks her debut as a novelist.
“Much of the history of women is written in water,” says Rich of the impetus to create a literary heroine based on the history of the Jews in Venice, after touring the Venice ghetto on holiday. “Their accomplishments disappear as smoothly as a stone thrown in a pond. The creations of women are transitory — meals cooked, clothes mended, clothes washed, clothes sold (for one of the few professions Jews were permitted at the time was trade in second hand clothing), children born, children birthed, and children raised. After that trip, I started to read all I could find on the subject of daily life in the ghetto. There is precious little. And precious little about the daily lives of women in particular and how they gave birth. This book is a way to imagine a way into all that invisible history.”
Top reviews from Canada
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I loved the immersion in sixteenth-century Venice, and the realistic detail. The action is fast-paced, which is normally a good thing; however, in this case, it has been achieved at the expense of building tension and emotional connection. For example, we are told that slaves often die of overwork and starvation on Malta, and that suspected witches are tied up and thrown in the canals, but we never see this happening. Showing the reader would give a sense of immediacy about the events happening in the book.
Still, the characters are well drawn and believable, and I found myself sympathizing with them and rooting for them.
I liked it, simple and nothing horrific happenings.
Top reviews from other countries
A visual, sensual novel (in the sense that all your senses come into play) descriptions of the palazzos of the gentry, the hovels of the poor. The beginning paragraph of the midwife in a freezing hovel putting two cold, unpleasant tasting coins on her tongue in order to warm them up, to melt the ice on the window so she can see what the commotion outside is all about...brilliant.
Worth a read.