16 MayThe Midwife of Venice 15/52

I have more than one book going right now.  I don’t like to do that.  It makes me feel tense for some reason.  One of them is a genre I never read.  I will be doing a review on that hopefully soon!

So I picked up The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich.  Seemed intriguing.  Haven’t read Historical Fiction in a good while.  Once I started this book everything else was put on hold.  I got so involved in the story and it was suspenseful the entire way through.  No boring parts.

Hannah is a very skilled Jewish midwife living in Venice.  Her husband was captured on the seas and sold into slavery.  Late one night a Christian noble arrives at her door begging her to help his wife who has been in labour for two days and is at death’s door.  It is illegal for Jews to give medical treatment to Christians, but Hannah names her price; the price of her husbands’ ransom and risks torture and possible death in hopes of being reunited with her husband.

Meanwhile, Hannah’s husband Isaac is in Malta, starving and beaten.  He is offered a better life if he converts to Christianity and is also faced with the temptation of a beautiful woman who is attracted to him.  He depends on his creativity and his gift of words in exchange for food and a small sum, which he hopes will help him get back to his wife.

I thought the author did such a great job of bringing the characters to life and of creating a 16th Century atmosphere, that I could almost taste the dusty air of Malta and smell the rotting corpses of The Plague victims being transported in the canals of Venice. I so much admired the strength of  love between Hannah and Isaac that I was on the “edge of my seat” praying that they would be together again.

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