Thursday, February 12, 2015
THE HAREM MIDWIFE (ROBERTA RICH)
The Imperial Harem, Constantinople, 1578, Hannah and Isaac Levi, Venetians in exile, begin anew in the Ottoman Empire. Isaac owns a silk workshop, and Hannah, the best midwife in the capital tends to the hundreds of women in Sultan Murat III's lively and infamous haren One night, Hannah is summoned to the palace to ascertain the virginity of Leah, a Jewish peasant girl. The sultan favors Leah as his next conquest and wants her to produe his heir, but if the spirited girl fails this test, she faces a terrible fate. Captivated by Leah's tenacity, Hannah must decide whether to risk everything to lie for her. Soon Leah reveals a dark secret that could comdemn them both. Meanwhile, as Hannah agonizes over her decision, a beautiful woman arrives from Venice with a plot to destory Hannah's marriage, and steal her beloved son, Matteo.
This novel is filled with adventure and vivid detail and peopled with memorable characters.