The Midwife of Venice PDF/EPUB Ò The Midwife Kindle

The Midwife of Venice [KINDLE] ✿ The Midwife of Venice By Roberta Rich – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Hannah Levi is renowned throughout Venice for her gift at coaxing reluctant babies from their mothers a gift aided by the secret birthing spoons she designed But when a count implores her to attend to Hannah Levi is renowned throughout Venice for her gift at coaxing reluctant babies from their mothers a gift aided by the secret birthing spoons she designed But when a count implores her to attend to The Midwife Kindle - his wife, who has been laboring for days to give birth to their firstborn son, Hannah is torn A Papal edict forbids Jews from rendering medical treatment to Christians, but the payment he offers is enough to ransom her beloved husband, Isaac, who has been captured at sea Can Hannah refuse her duty to a suffering woman Hannah s choice entangles her in a treacherous family rivalry that endangers the baby and threatens her voyage to Malta, where Isaac, believing her dead in the plague, is preparing to buy his passage to a new life Not since The Red Tent or People of the Book has a novel transported readers so intimately into the complex lives of women centuries ago or so richly into a story of intrigue that transcends the boundaries of history.


10 thoughts on “The Midwife of Venice

  1. Megan Baxter Megan Baxter says:

    Welcome to another edition of Megan s Damning With Faint Praise This book is fine It is readable, it didn t piss me off, I enjoyed it while I was reading it These are things I almost always say about books I liked but inspired me to no passion, one way or another And it s true in this case as well.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire Welcome to another edition of Megan s Damning With Faint Praise This book is fine It is readable, it didn t piss me off, I enjoyed it while I was reading it These are things I almost always say about books I liked but inspired me to no passion, one way or another And it s true in this case as well.Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook


  2. ruzmarì ruzmarì says:

    With The Midwife of Venice, Roberta Rich has joined the hordes By hordes, I mean authors producing historical fiction about parts of the world that are legendary, which is to say mostly imaginary to them Strangely, most are about 16th century Italy, one region or another Also, they tend to feature resourceful female protagonists whose pluck and daring gets them through the most unlikely adventures There is usually some form of prejudice a helper in the form of another social outsider a r With The Midwife of Venice, Roberta Rich has joined the hordes By hordes, I mean authors producing historical fiction about parts of the world that are legendary, which is to say mostly imaginary to them Strangely, most are about 16th century Italy, one region or another Also, they tend to feature resourceful female protagonists whose pluck and daring gets them through the most unlikely adventures There is usually some form of prejudice a helper in the form of another social outsider a randy dwarf, a cloistered monk and a great deal of travel to Scotland, Morocco, Rome That legendariness is not entirely a bad thing it allows readers to think they are being transported through a place while still suspending disbelief as wholly improbable events take place there When an author also so obviously wants his her fiction to be taken seriously as a political statement or quasi historical document, however, the lack of research or actual realism becomes a distraction rather than a boon.And that is just one problem with Rich s novel Rich has imagined a Venice in which the Jewish midwife Hannah, so downtrodden and impoverished by racial prejudice that she fears for her life if she steps outside the Ghetto or helps to birth a Gentile woman s baby a task she compassionately and rebelliously nonetheless undertakes with surprising regularity , mysteriously becomes the target of a rich family s rage and vengeance So much so that she has to disguise herself as a prostitute, guided by her lapsed sister, and then as a victim of the Black Death Oh, and she also steals the rich family s baby, and manages to get stuck with him, so she and her downtrodden and impoverished husband Isaac can finally have the child they have dreamed of Oh, and she escapes Venice on board a freight ship bound for Malta, where her husband has managed to win favor with nuns, a local eccentric artist woman, and a reluctantly admiring slave owner who happens to be in love with the eccentric artist woman Oh, and somewhere in there Hannah sneaks out of Venice and has a totally unnecessary subplot adventure involving a suspicious ship s captain and a kind Muslim woman Oh, and Hannah also rescues her husband from the clutches of the greedy nun and then the greedy slave owner, and they bring the baby up and live happily ever after.If you re reading this with eyes narrowed and the shadow of a WTF dancing across your peripheral vision, you re not alone The novel is a full tilt disappointment whose rave reviews onleave me baffled It is full of racial depictions in all directions that turn characters into black and white cardboard cutouts worthy of a 19th century melodrama The Good Jewess, The Greedy Rabbi, the Scheming Count and so on , historical and geographical inaccuracies I m sorry, but if you are going to write a historical novel about downtrodden but plucky Jews in 16th century Venice you need to know how to spell G I U D E C C A, not to mention the fact that the Jews did not, in fact, live in this area but in the Ghetto, which was in the Cannaregio , and wild radical leaps of logic that stymy even the most faithful of suspended disbelievers How did Hannah, who cannot afford an orange, manage to get the silversmith from the Ghetto to manufacture her birthing tool, a set of soldered silver spoons ostensibly the first forceps Why would the Rabbi, suspicious of anyone s authority beyond his own, even allow a pair of Gentile gentlemen into the Ghetto after hours, much less up into Hannah s private rooms and then permit her to leave with them at midnight Why would an independently wealthy and oddly sexually liberated artist fall in love with the emaciated but well spoken Isaac And, sigh, why do the non Jews all have to be such caricatures of despicability and greed This kind of representation may make for a cathartic page turner, but it makes the novel feel mis classified, as if it should be sold in the YA section And that s bad YA, the kind that refuses to recognize the complexities of a world whose strands of black and white weave into a highly nuanced fabric of grey.As for the page turner thing I reached page 241 in my copy and discovered that the next available page was 318 Perhaps the best assessment I can give of this book is to say that my reaction was one of relief and renewed enthusiasm the end was near, and that was promising What a shame to waste such an original idea for a novel and such good intentions, too, to draw attention to the realities of women s daily lives in historically oppressed communities on such claptrap


  3. Victoria Victoria says:

    Let me just say that I wish this novel was longer Three hundred pages are not enough for this amazingness.Hannah is a Jewess, a midwife, and a wife living in the 16th century Venice Her husband was captured and sold into slavery on Malta When he realized that nobody is going to save him, he is trying to find his own ways to survive, escape and get back to Venice.In the meantime, a wealthy and powerful Count is asking Hannah s help to deliver his wife s baby and save him, since it is his last Let me just say that I wish this novel was longer Three hundred pages are not enough for this amazingness.Hannah is a Jewess, a midwife, and a wife living in the 16th century Venice Her husband was captured and sold into slavery on Malta When he realized that nobody is going to save him, he is trying to find his own ways to survive, escape and get back to Venice.In the meantime, a wealthy and powerful Count is asking Hannah s help to deliver his wife s baby and save him, since it is his last hope to have a child and an heir to his fortune None of the Christian midwives could help the Countess that is in labor for over two days The Rabbi of the Ghetto forbids Hannah to help Christians and risk the safety of the entire Ghetto but after a generous offer from the Count, that can buy her husband s freedom, she accepts to help.Delivering Countess Baby is not the most challenging thing Hannah must face Shortly she finds herself alone with a Christian child, fighting for its safety When there is nobody to turn for help, she goes to the person she rejected years ago, her sister, Jessica She is now a New Christian, a woman who betrayed her people and her religion, and who is now living a not an honorable life Would Hannah be able to save herself, the baby and her husband I have no words to describe how I enjoyed this novel There is so much going on, and every time you turn another page there is drama, action, a twist, an intrigue, and a surprise When I read the summary of this novel, I was expecting a quite slow and steady telling of a midwife but I was the opposite of slow A Very captivating story, I wish there wasto it though


  4. Danielle Rossman Danielle Rossman says:

    The Midwife of Venice by debut novelist Roberta Rich is full of great historical facts and truly does reveal the seamy and seedy side of 16th Century Venice I was so delighted to find a new Historical novel that moves quickly and is so accurate in its portrayal of the times without trying to recapture history, but rather crafting a fresh story with new and thoroughly interesting characterizations I was also very intrigued to learn of the enslavement of Jewish people in Italy because it is so h The Midwife of Venice by debut novelist Roberta Rich is full of great historical facts and truly does reveal the seamy and seedy side of 16th Century Venice I was so delighted to find a new Historical novel that moves quickly and is so accurate in its portrayal of the times without trying to recapture history, but rather crafting a fresh story with new and thoroughly interesting characterizations I was also very intrigued to learn of the enslavement of Jewish people in Italy because it is so historically relevant to the persecution of Jews all over Europe in the centuries to follow It is obvious that the seeds of much torture during the pograms of Russia and Poland up until Hitler and WWII may have been planted in places like Malta and Venice That is why it so good for authors to explore these roots because even many Jewish persons like myself, do not always know the full history of our culture s persecution.Now, on to the review Hannah Levi is a midwife in the ghettos of Venice during the late 1500 s She possesses excellent skill in this profession despite the fact that she herself is barren She is known for her unique instrument called birthing spoons that seem to mirror modern day forceps While many people see this tool as a miracle, she must be careful in its use because it is very easy to be branded a heretic or a witch and be sentenced to death for using items like these during this era in history It is of course forbidden for a Jewish midwife to attend Christian births One evening Hannah is visited by her Rabbi along with two Christian noblemen and asked to break this law to attend one of the elite man s wife who is dying in birth The Rabbi forbids this action, but Hannah s sense of caring along with her need for money drives her to defy the rabbi and leave the ghetto to attend to the dying woman.Hannah s husband Issac is in Malta after journeying at sea to make a better life for them and is imprisoned and enslaved The money will pay his ransom and bring these true loves back together againThus Hannah s motivation when she leaves with the Count Conte is rooted in her love for husband, her need of money and of course her devotion to her profession Arriving at the home of the Conte we meet his beloved wife Lucia who has already lost several babies and appears to be going this route again The Conte must have an heir soon or he will not be able to come into a fabulous inheritance His motivations are mixed, but he does obviously love his wife enough to bring a Jewish Midwife into their lives to deliver this potential heirIt is afterall against the law for all involved After Baby Matteo is successfully born, Lucia and the Conte make a surprise journey and leave the baby behind I am never really sure of the true purpose of this sudden trip and am left wondering if this is just a good plot device to move the novelinto how Hannah will acquire Matteo and become his guardian as she fights to get to Issac in Malta Meanwhile Issac will be purchased by a Nun and traded about because of his skill with pen and ink Most of Malta is illiterate and he manages to live by his pen because of this.How does love come again I certainly do not want to be a spoiler, but rather you will need to read the novel yourself I will say though that The Midwife of Venice dwells well on the squalor of Venice and how people s social s are often challenged for the sake of life and love I cannot remember aenchanting or fast read of late Between the history and the suspense I found the pages flying by But what gave me the most joy was Hannah who is truly a mother and wife in every sense of the word constancy and faith are her best toolsalong with her blessed spoons What a debut


  5. Annette Annette says:

    Set in the 16th century Venice and Malta, the story brings a vivid picture of Jewish ghetto in Venice Hannah is a talented Jewish midwife of Venice, a gift aided by the secret birthing spoons designed by her When asked to attend to a Christian woman, she is torn as a Papal edict forbids Jews from rendering medical treatment to Christians The payment sways her to risk her life as the sum is enough to ransom her beloved husband, Isaac, who has been captured at sea At the same time, in Malta Set in the 16th century Venice and Malta, the story brings a vivid picture of Jewish ghetto in Venice Hannah is a talented Jewish midwife of Venice, a gift aided by the secret birthing spoons designed by her When asked to attend to a Christian woman, she is torn as a Papal edict forbids Jews from rendering medical treatment to Christians The payment sways her to risk her life as the sum is enough to ransom her beloved husband, Isaac, who has been captured at sea At the same time, in Malta Isaac awaits for the Society for the Release of Captives to offer his freedom.History and traditions of Jewry and Christianity come alive in this story Among them, reality of the 16th century of noble women to birth an heir And if the choice is to save one, it is to save an heir A woman can be easily replaced And using any tool during the birth is seen as heresy.Very engrossing story, with most chapters ending in such interesting way that it s hard to stop reading, and making it a very quick read


  6. Natasa Natasa says:

    Medieval Venice and its Jewish Ghetto and the rest of Venice is fascinating, the story reads quickly, like a good soap, which is what I thought it was Each chapter ends with our heroine about to confront another crisis, that we never doubt she will overcome, even when it s gynecological or obstetrics.


  7. Leona Leona says:

    This was a quick read and I liked some of the historical perspectives of life in 1500 Venice However as other reviewers indicated, everything was a bit too black and white with herculean actions that became unbelievable for 1500 Venice.


  8. Krista Krista says:

    Odd that you should choose to be a midwife, having never experienced birth yourself In other circumstances the words would have stung She thought, Do not physicians provide medicaments for illnesses they have never suffered But Hannah held her tongue Two in her care were suspended between life and death She hadimportant matters to worry about. I want to start with a caveat I don t tend to read historical fiction, and if I did, I wouldn t be looking for historical fiction built aOdd that you should choose to be a midwife, having never experienced birth yourself In other circumstances the words would have stung She thought, Do not physicians provide medicaments for illnesses they have never suffered But Hannah held her tongue Two in her care were suspended between life and death She hadimportant matters to worry about. I want to start with a caveat I don t tend to read historical fiction, and if I did, I wouldn t be looking for historical fiction built around domestic drama and romance So, for all I know, The Midwife of Venice might be a very fine example of its genre, and if others find it satisfying, then it succeeds As for me, I picked this book up because I ll be in Venice next week and wanted to get in the mood and it worked for my purpose, too This was a fine, if lightweight, read I doubt I ll seek out the other volumes in this trilogy You are ruled by men the Rabbi, Isaac, our father when he was alive You are a little ghetto mouse and will never be anything else. As the book begins, Hannah a Jewish midwife of extraordinary gifts is summoned by a rich Venetian nobleman to attend to his wife Not only is it against the law for Jews to offer medical aid to Christians, but as Hannah s Rabbi warns her, if either the Contessa or the baby were to die under her care, their Ghetto s entire population would be held to account Hannah is moved by the Conte s account of his wife s condition, butso, she sees his desperation as an opportunity Hannah s husband, Isaac, has recently been kidnapped and enslaved by Maltese Knights, and if she is able to demand a high enough fee for her services, she ll be able to pay his ransom and bring the man she loves back home The narrative moves between Hannah s drama in Venice and Isaac s in Malta, and with plenty of cliffhangers, manufactured suspense, and not quite credible circumstances, the plot advances through a fairly predictable story arc The historical facts are often inserted inorganically Now he was in Valletta, capital city of Malta, stronghold of the Knights During their long nights and endless days in jail, Sim n, another Ashkenazi Jew and a fellow prisoner, had explained to Isaac that in 1530, Charles V of Spain had bestowed this island of rock and wind on the Knights of St John in exchange for their protecting the archipelago against the infidel Turk The Knights succeeded in defending the land from the rapaciousness of the Ottomans, but over the years they had grown greedy Bewitched by their victories, they used the pretext of defending their island to prey not only upon the infidel ships of the Ottomans but on Christian ships as well, seizing cargo and enslaving all on board, rich or poor, merchant or servant, woman or child They called themselves Knights but they were littlethan pirates, grown rich through crimes sanctified in the name of the Holy Crusade. And the drama was quite dramatic Hannah felt a pain under her breast and a tearing sensation, as though her heart had come loose from its moorings In her mind s eye, she covered the mirror and rent her clothing These were not the empty gestures prescribed by the Rabbi years ago, but heartfelt this time Shivawas complete Now, Jessica was truly dead to her.But still, author Roberta Rich captured something of the feeling and history of Venice this wouldn t be inappropriate for high school students to read before The Merchant of Venice in order to get a sense for Shylock and the injustices he lived under With mention made of everything from the canals to plague doctors to Commedia dell arte, Rich obviously put in plenty of research and she whetted my appetite for the soggy city Good enough for my purposes


  9. Meri Meri says:

    Book that starts so faceless and little bit boring , it turns to a unbelievable and amazing story Through the adversity of a Jewish midwife, we are a silent witness of one dark side of Venice history from one side, and one great love love for a husband, for a child, for one simple life, from the other side.


  10. Leigh Leigh says:

    Nothing like a global pandemic to get this gal out of her reading rut I loved this book Why Because it was about a Jewess reclaiming that word by the way because it is badass in the 1500s She is a midwife dealing with the demands from gentiles to deliver their babies not legal then , needing to use advanced tools in her midwifery that get her accused of being a witch, the plague sweeping through Italy, the discrimination against Jews, and the capture of her husband who is shipped off to a Nothing like a global pandemic to get this gal out of her reading rut I loved this book Why Because it was about a Jewess reclaiming that word by the way because it is badass in the 1500s She is a midwife dealing with the demands from gentiles to deliver their babies not legal then , needing to use advanced tools in her midwifery that get her accused of being a witch, the plague sweeping through Italy, the discrimination against Jews, and the capture of her husband who is shipped off to another land and sold at auction to the highest bidder Spoiler She makes it Female perseverance at its finest As they were describing the horrid scenes of this time and place where every day you have to figure out how to survive in the Jewish ghetto with a severe lack of supplies, food, medicine and housing, I couldn t help but look around my own apartment and be grateful I have everything I need You probably do too We re going to be okay We must persist but also please stay the f % home


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *