Title: The Midwife of Venice
Author: Roberta Rich
Publisher: Gallery Books (February 14, 2012)
Format: ARC Trade Paperback; Pgs 321
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Simon and Schuster
Hannah ha-Levi, a midwife in the Venetian ghetto is put in terrible danger. She has gained renown for her skill in coaxing reluctant babies out of their mother’s bellies using her “birthing spoons” as rudimentary forceps. One night a Christian nobleman, Conte Paolo di Padovani appears at Hannah’s door in the Jewish ghetto with an impossible request.
He implores Hannah to help his dying wife and save their unborn child. But a Papal edict has made it a crime, punishable by death, for Jews to give medical treatment to Christians. The Conte offers her a huge sum of money, enough to enable her to sail to Malta to ransom her beloved husband, Isaac. He was captured at sea and is a slave of the Knights of St. John.
Hannah acquiesces and delivers the infant, Matteo, a child who captures her heart. As she prepares to depart for Malta to rescue Isaac, she discovers that the baby’s uncles are plotting to murder the baby in order to seize the family fortune.
Title: The Possibility of You
Author: Pamela Redmond
Publisher: Gallery Books (February 28, 2012)
Format: ARC Trade Paperback; Pgs 343
Source: Simon and Schuster
1916. It was the one thing Bridget was supposed to never let happen. But no matter how many times she replayed the steps in her head, she couldn’t reanimate the small pale boy who lay limp in her arms
1976. Billie felt as if she’d been wrenched in half more surely than when the baby had been cut from her body. But she felt something else too: happy to think only of her own needs, her own tears. So light she could float away, somewhere no one would ever find her.
The present. Even if Cait never found her birth mother, even if she decided not to have this baby, to leave her lover and kiss her parents good-bye, she was surrounded by so much emotion, so many questions, that she felt as if she might never be free again.
Can we ever atone for the sins of the past? Or does each generation of women invent itself anew? In a complex and beautifully told masterpiece set against key moments for women in the last century, New York Times bestselling author Pamela Redmond intertwines the heartrending stories of Bridget, Billie, and Cait, and explores the ways in which one woman’s choices can affect her loved ones forever. As these three women search for identity and belonging, each faces a very personal decision that will reverberate across generations, tearing apart families, real and imaginary, perfect and flawed, but ultimately bringing them together again.