Roberta Rich, a Buffalo Seminary graduate, has published her first book, The Midwife of Venice (Gallery Books/Simon and Schuster), an historical novel of intrigue set in 16th Century Venice. Hannah Levi is a midwife renowned for her gift of coaxing reluctant babies from their mothers. Rich's novel unveils the dilemma that unfolds when a count implores her to attend to his wife, in labor for days trying to give birth to their firstborn son. Hannah is torn: a Papal edict forbids Jews from rendering medical treatment to Christians, but the payment the count offers is enough to ransom her husband, who has been captured at sea. Her choice entangles her in a treacherous family rivalry that endangers the baby and threatens her voyage to Malta to retrieve her husband.
The Toronto Globe & Mail calls it "a lively tale involving love, blackmail, family, murder, plague, intercultural compassion, dramatic last-minute rescues and some very creative disguises...Rich capably depicts the strength of women and the precariousness of their lives, regardless of status or relgion."
Ms. Rich will read from and discuss the novel, and autograph copies purchased from Talking Leaves.