Extended Audio Sample

Download The Midwife of Venice Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Midwife of Venice Audiobook, by Roberta Rich Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,320 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Roberta Rich Narrator: Antoinette LaVecchia Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2011 ISBN: 9781470320515
Regular Price: $24.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

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 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.

Download and start listening now!

BK_RECO_006073

Quotes & Awards

  • “An engrossing, well-written, and fast-paced story about a fascinating period in history. The descriptions of sixteenth-century Venice were so vivid, they were almost tangible.”

    Joy Fielding, New York Times bestselling author of Charley’s Web

  • “Rich skillfully incorporates a wealth of historical detail into her riveting tale of a heroine who won't give up on her marriage.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “By definition, novels set in Venice must exude atmosphere, and this one positively drips with it…Rich capably depicts the strength of women and the precariousness of their lives.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “Successfully captures the seedy side of sixteenth-century Venice.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “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.”

    Library Journal

  • “A cliffhanger-strewn debut…breathless historical adventure.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “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

  • “A meticulously researched page-turner that evokes Renaissance Venice with remarkable clarity, radiance, and vigor.”

    William Deverell, author of Mind Games

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley | 2/19/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. Even if it wasn't entirely historically accurate, it was still interesting and a good story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 2/11/2014

    " Picked this after a good Globe and Mail review. Set in Venice and Malta, in 1575, story of a Jewish mid-wife, and her entreprenurial husband. They've been split apart, and both risk torture and death to be reunited. Both story lines interesting, especially the woman's. Maybe her husband will get more exposure in a sequel - plot leaves room for more adventures. Very well researched and descriptively written. Was one of thos read until you drop books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather Panella | 2/10/2014

    " I really, really liked this historical fiction novel. I learned a lot that I did not know about Venice, life as a Jew in Italy, and the life of a midwife. Good strong characters and a great storyline. Recommend to fans of historical fiction for sure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ulla Dagert Muther | 2/8/2014

    " Delightful quick read. Sometimes the exaggerations became a bit much as well as the heroin's deftness and midwifery tricks. Not great fiction, but very enjoyable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Donna Burtwistle-Popplewell | 1/22/2014

    " Fascinating story about a young Jewish midwife named Hannah who lives in the Jewish ghetto in Venice in the early-1500s. The story unfolds as a Christian noble begs her to come to help deliver his wife's baby; however, papal edicts prevent the intermixing of Jews and Christians. Despite her misgivings, Hannah goes and successfully delivers wee Matteo. Meanwhile, Hannah's husband, Isaac has been kidnapped and imprisoned on the island of Malta--half of this book is his story too. I really enjoyed the descriptions of Venice and of the complications and challenges that Venetians faced at this time: poverty, a return of the Plague, Catholic laws and blatant ignorance and anti-Semitism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jodi Dewynter | 1/17/2014

    " A good easy read!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Teresa | 12/29/2013

    " Quick easy read with rich descriptions of 16th century Venice. Unfortunately I felt that the story was somewhat contrived and I'd have trouble recommending it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Addictive | 12/28/2013

    " This book was very good! So interesting to read about historic events like the plague and such. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darkpool | 12/28/2013

    " A seriously interesting and compelling book. There was a relentless feel of inevitability to the majority of the book as both Levi and Hannah were pushed along by fate. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leeann | 12/26/2013

    " I was quickly caught up in this intriguing story. A real test of keeping with religious tradition versus what you know in your heart is the right thing to do. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joan | 12/19/2013

    " A historical novel set in a fascinating time. It was spoilt by characters behaving inconsistently and improbably. Interesting but not great. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie Adelman-schlosberg | 12/8/2013

    " Not as good as some others I have read...but was an entertaining story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Valerie | 11/2/2013

    " A very enjoyable book about sixteenth century Venice, delivering babies, Jewish life and a story of suspense. It had lots of wonderful detail. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth Sacrey | 10/23/2013

    " Well-researched account of 16th century Venice but the story-line, in spite of the interesting characters, needed to be developed further. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kati | 10/15/2013

    " It wasn't bad... but I've read better books about Venice, better books about midwifery, and better books about Jewish ghettos in the Renaissance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jojoma | 10/7/2013

    " Great story with fascinating historical context (the protagonist is a Jewish midwife who lives in the Venice ghetto and is forbidden to minister to Christians, but is forced to, in order to maybe save her enslaved husband), but simply written so that it's almost a beach read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jaline | 9/6/2013

    " I'm not sure what I expected but I was disappointed with this book. Maybe it was my mood while reading it - I just found myself skimming after awhile rather than reading. It didn't grab me like I thought it would. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachael | 8/27/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book, it had me captivated from the start. As a reader you find yourself routing for Hannah and her enslaved husband. Would recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobbi | 8/25/2013

    " Loved it- couldn't put it down! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kristina | 8/4/2013

    " I am not a big fan of historical fiction but thought to give this book a try. Life is too short for depressing books about dismembered babies. That is where I closed the book. I don't even want to know if it continues like that. Her prose is vivid, I will say that for it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbi | 7/12/2013

    " This was a wonderful book. I loved reading about Hanna and Issac and their journey to find each other again. Great book for discussion. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dawna | 6/25/2013

    " This was compared to The Red Tent???? No way! Not very well written at all. No depth; quite unbelieveable in parts; predictable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eleni | 5/25/2013

    " Just when I thought all was lost, the ending takes a turn for the better. I love happy endings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alison Fesler | 4/19/2013

    " Loved this book! Loved the characters and the way the author told both stories and weaved them together. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mdavies | 12/24/2012

    " I'm almost finished with this. I think it sheds light on the prevalence of antisemitism as far back as medieval times. The main characters are well developed and you're really rooting for them. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ivone Branco | 10/22/2012

    " I didn't love this novel. I had no emotional connection with any of the characters and I found the storyline quite ridiculous and unbelievable:( "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate | 10/8/2012

    " Just readable enough that I couldn't stop but not good enough that I enjoyed the journey. The plot is over-stuffed and it would be easy not to notice the fact that this book is quite well-researched (it includes notes and a bibliography). A disappointment. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Roberta Rich is the author of The Midwife of Venice. She divides her time between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Colima, Mexico.

About the Narrator

Antoinette LaVecchia has acted extensively with New York and regional theater groups. Among her accolades are the 2013 Best Actress Award from BroadwayWorld.com and the Urban Stages’ Award for Valuable Contributions of Italian-American Artists to New York Theater. She is also the recipient of a Fox Fellowship and an Anna Sosenko Assist Trust Grant.