Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Harem Midwife: A Novel” as Want to Read:
The Harem Midwife: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Harem Midwife: A Novel (Midwife #2)

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  1,612 Ratings  ·  223 Reviews
In the opulent palace of the feared and revered Murat III, Hannah Levi, midwife to the Sultan's vast harem, is forced to ensure heirs for the kingdom. If she fails, the entire Ottoman Empire will collapse, but the woman who is chosen to be the Sultan's mistress is not all she seems.

And when a mysterious woman turns up on her doorstep, claiming to be her late brother's brid
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Gallery Books (first published October 31st 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Harem Midwife, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Harem Midwife

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 01, 2013 Veronica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok seriously? Great story, but just like the first book the ending is so ridiculous. Oh everything's falling apart! Then in one page, everything works out perfectly. Our heroine is happy ever after. It's as though Roberta got bored or hit the deadline -what? Ok I'll just end it now. Pfft...
Aug 27, 2016 MAP rated it it was ok

I put this book on my to read list several years ago before realizing it was a sequel. I was...less than thrilled with the first book, but hoped maybe the second would be better.

Nope. Just like the first book, it revels in irrelevant but unpleasant details. Not "let's really show a slice of life" details but "how can we make this as gory and disgusting as possible for no reason" details - the gore version of shoehorning a sex scene in a movie to guarantee an R rating.

And just lik
Aug 02, 2014 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This interesting read is a sequel to Midwife of Venice, which I read after our trip to Venice. I loved reliving the many places described in the book. The Harem Midwife gives the reader a glimpse into the life of the harem midwife living in Constantinople in the 16th century. Following the same characters from the first book, one learns again of the brutality of the time. It was recommended that I read this book before my visit to Istanbul in a couple of weeks. 3.5 stars
I absolutely loved the The Midwife of Venice, and so I was eagerly awaiting Roberta Rich's sequel, The Harem Midwife. This novel truly is a sequel. Unlike many current series out there, you cannot read book two without reading book one. The novel continues the story of Hannah Levi, a skilled midwife, and her beloved husband Isaac as they make a life in their adopted city of Constantinople.

Hannah, as in The Midwife, is faced with choices she must make to help another or maintain her professional
Kate Hilton
Nov 08, 2013 Kate Hilton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Roberta Rich's new novel, The Harem Midwife, is a gift to lovers of historical fiction everywhere. Set in 16th-century Constantinople, the Harem Midwife is a great feast of a book: power, sex, intrigue, betrayal, and a woman's struggle to protect her family, her moral code and her own life. As with The Midwife of Venice (the first novel in this excellent trilogy and also highly recommended) Rich's meticulous research is evident on every page. To read The Harem Midwife is to be immersed in the sc ...more
Ioanna Bouna
Ενα βιβλιο ευκολοδιαβαστο και ενδιαφερον (παντα με μαγευαν τα στορυ με σουλτανους χαρεμια και παλατια ..)Σαν βιβλιο δεν ηταν πολυ δεμενη η ιστορια του και η γραφη συνηθισμενη αλλα σαν γενικη εικονα μου αρεσε .3,5/5
Angie Lippard
Nov 03, 2013 Angie Lippard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I saw "The Harem Midwife" novel up for review in the Edelweiss catalog, it appealed to me because 1) I know nothing about harems 2) how women in harems gave birth 3) that there were harem midwives (but that makes sense thinking about it now) 4) how women in harems lived and got along with each other. After reading it, I now have quite a bit of new information about harems. Hannah Levi is a Jew, exiled from her home in Venice, now living in Constantinople and working for the Sultan Murat III ...more
Apr 22, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Those of you who enjoyed Roberta Rich's dazzling debut novel, The Midwife of Venice, will be thrilled to know there is a sequel. In The Harem Midwife (October 2013), Hannah and Isaac encounter further trials in the intriguing city of Constantinople, and Hannah even ventures deep inside the sultan's harem, now Istanbul's major tourist attraction, the Topkapi palace. Be prepared for fun adventures, new antagonists, and exciting twists of plot!

In the U.S., The Harem Midwife: A Novel will be publish
Nov 16, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved The Midwife of Venice, the first book to this sequel, and I loved this one too. Although other reviewers differ, I do not think the first one should necessarily be read before this one. Although it would add to the richness of the story, the Harem Midwife can be read on its own.

The setting in the Ottoman Empire in the 1600’s is enchanting. Life is hard for some and totally decadent for others. The examples of extravagances are quite fun, as are the gory descriptions of natural childbirt
Apr 02, 2016 Nirit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
מאוד נהניתי לקרוא את עלילותיה של חנה המיילדת בספר הקודם (המיילדת מוונציה). ספר ההמשך, המיילדת מההרמון פחות מוצלח, אבל עדיין מעניין, בעיקר בזכות התקופה והדמויות. את העלילה עצמה, פחות אהבתי.
Luanne Ollivier
Nov 05, 2013 Luanne Ollivier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roberta Rich's debut novel, The Midwife of Venice, was 'richly' received by reading audiences everywhere. I really enjoyed it (my review) and remember writing at the end of my review..." it ended too soon! But it looks like a sequel is in the works - I'll be picking it up for sure."

Well, that sequel - The Harem Midwife - is here. It's just as good as the first book and provided a lovely Sunday afternoon's read for me.

1578. Hannah and her husband Isaac have fled Venice and made a life for themsel
I went into this book not knowing it was the second in a series. However, I did not feel it is necessary to read The Midwife of Venice to be able to follow this novel, as the plot stood alone quite well. I don't know much about the Ottoman Empire during this time, so I enjoyed reading Rich's descriptions of Constantinople. I think Rich did an admirable job of describing some of the trials of a minority group in a powerful empire.

While I felt that the overall plot was good--the book did keep my
Aug 01, 2013 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: advanced-reads
This is an advanced read copy. Uncorrected proof as the book will be sold on Sept 29, 2013.

This is the 2nd in a series about Hannah, a Jewish midwife and her husband, Isaac, a silk maker/trader. They are in Constantinople where Hannah is the midwife for the Sultan's harem. The Sultan is enamored with his wife and yet there are no more children being born to the empire. The sultan's mother plots to fix this, by buying a Jewish slave girl, Leah, who was stolen from her people and left an orphan wh
Feb 12, 2015 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ISBN: 978-0-385-67668-7
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 f
Aug 15, 2013 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, reviewed
I won this book through the Goodreads First Reads program. I haven't had the pleasure of reading The Midwife of Venice, the first book in this series, but after reading this story it is definitely on my "To read" shelf. This book can be read as a stand alone, I did not feel hindered by the fact that I had not read the first in the series. The important bits of information you need to know are worked into the story.

I was surprised to see the thinness of the novel, but was pleasantly surprised wit
Aug 01, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-won
The Harem Midwife is about Hannah a midwife who has traveled from venice to constantinople to build a life for herself and her family. When she is summoned to the palace to provide support to the Valide, it seems as if telling a lie may have awful repercussions. Just when the stress of this lie seems to be at a breaking point, her son goes missing.

This book is full of suspense, and adventure. It was a very compelling story. I really enjoyed this read. I have given this story 5 stars.
Apr 21, 2015 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautifully written book with an intriguing premise and complex characters. I absolutely loved it until the last few pages when it all became a bit too unrealistic.


The valide was described as cunning, politically savvy and quite cruel throughout the book but really she was so forgiving and generous it didn't seem to fit! And the ending ugh! Deus ex machina. Neat little package. Totally unbelievable.
Jan 04, 2017 Bianca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-75-books
Zoals verwacht is deel twee een erg leuk vervolg. Ik vind hem zelfs nog spannender dan de eerste omdat de setting bij de harem van de sultan het een goede omgeving maakt voor de intrige van dit boek. Constantinopel is ook nog een prachtige stad passend bij de sfeer in het verhaal. Er is nog ruimte voor een derde deel in de serie. Als Roberta Rich deze gaat schrijven wil ik hem beslist lezen.
Nancy Kekst
The sequel to the Midwife of Venice. The story continues with the same characters, it a quick read and interesting and they all live happily ever after. Not as good as the first but I still read it with gusto in two days as I love historical fiction, especially with Jewish characters.
Mar 03, 2016 Eileen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great follow up to the Midwife of Venice. Another exploration of ordinary strong women of history!
The story kept me wanting to find out what happens next but the ending felt too easily resolved.
Wow. Wooooowwwww.
Melissa Cox
Light fluffy chick lit in the guise of historical fiction. I'm okay with that!
Dec 12, 2013 Shana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
enjoyable read... I wanted more from the abrupt ending :)
Dec 23, 2014 Angmdc rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 good, however the end wrapped up a little bit too quickly and neatly
Lori Emilson
I enjoyed this sequel to The Midwife of Venice very much. Wraps up a little too tidily for my liking, but loved the historical accounts of the Ottoman Empire of the 1500s. Loved reading about places we visited when we were in Turkey.
May 21, 2017 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 19, 2017 Tova marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
By Sultan's mother - in - law I think they might mean mother? Because i'm pretty sure that means Nurbanu Sultan.
Anne Logan

Want to know how successful a writer is? Take a look at their website, that’s a clear indication of how many books he/she has sold. How can I make this bold statement? I’ll give you an example-take Roberta Rich, the author of The Harem Midwife, sequel to the popular Midwife of Venice released a few years earlier. I read the Midwife of Venice when it came out, and I vaguely remember enjoying it, which is a sign that the book was actually very good. Bad book
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 05:58PM  
  • Muse
  • Rick Stein's India: In Search of the Perfect Curry: Recipes from My Indian Odyssey
  • Lord of the Nutcracker Men
  • Queen of Swords
  • The Last Daughter of Prussia
  • A Bride for One Night: Talmud Tales
  • Dancing With Kings
  • The Sultan's Wife
  • City of God
  • Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I (Ladies in Waiting #3)
  • Leaving Home (Persia Blues #1)
  • The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora
  • The Hadassah Covenant
  • I, Jacqueline
  • Innocent in the Sheikh's Harem (Armstrong Sisters #1)
  • Henna House
  • The Far Side of the Sky
  • The May Bride
I was born on January 9th. Not the best time to be born if your birthplace happens to be the buckle on the snow belt, Buffalo, New York. Buffalo remained my home until I struck out on my own and managed to get 73 miles down the New York State Freeway to Rochester. My life took a turn for the better- better climate, better opportunities.
Writers of a certain vintage always seem to boast of the varie
More about Roberta Rich...

Other Books in the Series

Midwife (3 books)
  • The Midwife of Venice
  • A Trial in Venice

Share This Book

“Tova said, “Leah planned to change into her own kaftan someplace out of the way. But with my little mishap, she didn’t have a chance.” Both women were still dressed” 0 likes
More quotes…