An opulent, captivating, suspenseful historical novel rom the author of the thrilling international bestseller The Midwife of Venice.
The Imperial Harem, Constantinople, 1578. Hannah and Isaac Levi, Venetians in exile, have overcome unfathomable obstacles to begin life anew in the Ottoman Empire. He works in the growing silk trade, and she, the best midwife in the capital, tends to the hundreds of women in Sultan Murat III’s lively and infamous harem. One night, Hannah is unexpectedly summoned to the extravagant palace and confronted with Leah, a Jewish peasant girl who was violently abducted. The sultan favors Leah as his next conquest and wants her to produce his heir, but if the spirited girl fails an important test, she faces a terrible fate. Taken by Leah’s tenacity, Hannah risks everything to help her. But as Hannah agonizes over her decision, an enchanting stranger arrives from afar to threaten her peaceful life with Isaac, and soon Leah too reveals a dark secret that could condemn them both.
Filled with adventure and vivid detail and peopled with memorable characters, The Harem Midwife showcases Roberta Rich’s boundless talent for capturing readers’ imaginations.
The Harem Midwife is a delectable little gem of a book! I loved it and would highly recommend it. I haven’t read the first book in this series and was a little afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the characters or their backstory. Luckily I didn’t have to worry. Roberta Rich does an amazing job of giving you little tidbits of what happened to Hannah and Isaac in Venice, that it is easy to get caught up.
Hannah is a very compassionate character who wants to help everyone. So much so that it gets her in trouble. She feels sorry for Leah and actually helps her escape from the harem. Through this action she sets off a chain of events that could end with her and her family’s deaths.
Roberta Rich weaves an amazing story. All of the characters (fictional and real) are well thought out and rounded. The storyline is at times a little far-fetched but with so many twists and turns, you don’t mind going along for the ride.
I couldn’t put this book down and was actually excited that I was recovering from surgery so that I could read as much as I wanted. This is one book that I’m planning on reading a few times, even when I’m not sick. I would highly recommend this book. It is a great read.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author of the internationally bestselling THE MIDWIFE OF VENICE. Writers of a certain vintage always seem to boast of the variety of interesting jobs they held before settling down to write. Jobs like fire breather on the Reforma in Mexico City, or turkey plucker. I have not done anything so exotic. Moving from present to past, I have been: a divorce lawyer, student, waitress, nurses' aide, hospital admitting clerk, factory assembly line worker and child.
I live in Vancouver, B.C. and in Colima, Mexico. I have one husband, one daughter, three step-children, a German Shepherd, tropical fish and many over sexed parakeets. When in Mexico, I nurture my husband, and my vanilla vines. When in Vancouver I try to keep dry.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Stephanie