Midwife of Venice & The Orphan Master

Book Pairing

Midwife of Venice    The Orphan Master

Another pair of titles that may not seem to match very well at first glance, but I beg to differ in a few cases.  The first novel is faster paced, shorter in length and does not really revolve around a mystery of murders.  Let me explain why I thought they shared at least one thread.  They both take place during the Renaissance period and feature a strong heroine.  Although the former book is set in Venice while the latter is set in New Amsterdam (what will be known as southern Manhattan), there is a sense of danger in each story.  In The Midwife of Venice, Hannah is a Jewish midwife who is called upon to deliver a Christian baby.  She has reasons to fear this task: any Jewish person having dealings with the Christian population may face the death penalty.  Her struggle to make the delivery a success without getting caught, sends her on a run when word eventually reaches the wrong ears.  Suddenly, Hannah is running for her life and trying to avoid the cholera outbreak that surrounds her.  In The Orphan Master, Blandine van Couvering is a female trader, who is trying to solve the mystery of orphan children being killed and maimed.  She is in danger of revealing the culprit (being an orphan herself) and also must escape persecutions of witchcraft in the process.  The books have the same feel when you read them but Rich’s novel is certainly less disturbing and more humorous than Zimmerman’s historical thriller.  Either way, both plots are engaging and keep you interested.

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2 Responses to Midwife of Venice & The Orphan Master

  1. Edith-Cecilia Varga says:

    I heard about the Midwife of Venice on CBC. These both sound like interesting reads.

  2. Melissa says:

    I think you would like The Midwife of Venice. My first book talk ever was about this book last year and I was so convincing that anyone who hadn’t read it, were sure to read it after I talked about it. It is also a fast read.

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