Library Ed. Recorded Books 2012
CD ISBN 9781464049477 $92.75 Eight CDs
DD ISBN 9781464049491 $109.00
It was hard being a woman, and even harder being a Jew, in sixteenth-century Venice. Antoinette LaVecchia’s strong performance details the grim realities of ghetto life, childbirth, superstition, and the rampant religious persecution of the period. Hannah Levi, the best midwife in Venice, has invented “birthing spoons”—an early version of forceps—considered instruments of the devil by the Christian world. When a nobleman offers her an enormous amount of money to help his wife who is in the throes of a difficult labor, Hannah agrees, willing to violate a Papal edict so she can buy the freedom of her husband, Isaac, a slave in Malta. LaVecchia fully develops both Hannah’s and Isaac’s adventures, enhancing the melodramatic plot, which relies heavily on coincidence and happenstance. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine [Published: JANUARY 2013]
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