The Midwife of Venice was Roberta Rich's debut novel. This international bestseller was followed by a second novel - The Harem Midwife. And at last the third novel - A Trial in Venice - is here!
This isn't a time period I usually read, but I was fascinated and immediately drawn in by Rich's characters, plotting and settings in the first book. And I've eagerly awaited each new book.
Rich has filled her books full of fascinating historical detail - the social mores, customs and laws of the time, religious differences, midwifery, day to day life and more. Using that research she has created a character it is impossible not to like. The three books have Hannah Levi, a Jewish midwife in 1575's Venice, at their heart. She's strong-minded, strong-willed, compassionate, intelligent and loving. But she must live within the confines set down by her faith and the laws of the land - which proves hard to do.
1580. The prologue opens with Hannah languishing in a Venice Prison. The how and why of this imprisonment is a story begun in the first book. Hannah saved a child from death in the first book. The parents died and Hannah kept the child to raise as her own. But....the boy was a Christian and the heir to a fortune. There are those who covet the boy's wealth and are just as determined to have control of him and his money. The two co-conspirators behind the machinations that have led to Hannah's arrest are wonderfully drawn - especially the conniving Cesca.
The beginning comes full circle with just the right ending to this trilogy. The tale in between will appeal to those who love historical novels filled with 'rich' detail, suspense and yes, romance. The love between Hannah and her husband Isaac is a joy to read, as is the love for their children.
I recommend starting with the first book to fully appreciate the subsequent books. Read an excerpt of A Trial in Venice. Sadly this is the conclusion to this story, but I am very much looking forward to see what Rich turns her pen to next.
You can connect with Roberta Rich on her website and follow her on Twitter.