Saturday, September 1, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday #7: "The Midwife of Venice"

This is a meme where the designer, photographer and/or illustrator of a favorite cover is featured is hosted by A Night's Dream of Books. I loved the idea since I always want to read a book when the cover is gorgeous. Bad habit, I know!

This week I'm going to be featuring different versions of the cover of a historical fiction novel, The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich.

US Cover

UK Cover

Bulgarian Cover

This one, and variations of it, are used in a few editions.

The version of the ebook I have (one with a US cover) gives credit to Jaya Micelo for the cover design, but I didn't find any results with that name. Instead Google kept suggesting Jaya Miceli. It also credits the landscape image to Roy Rainford.

About the book:

A rollicking, fast-paced historical novel set against the richness and squalor of sixteenth-century Venice and Malta.

Hannah ha-Levi, a midwife in the Jewish ghetto, is known throughout Venice for her skill in midwifery. When a Christian count appears at Hannah's door imploring her to attend his labouring wife who is near death, Hannah's compassion is tested. Not only is it illegal for Jews to render medical treatment to Christians, it's also punishable by torture ... and death. But Hannah cannot turn down the money. With such a handsome sum, she can save her own husband, Isaac, who was captured at sea and taken to Malta as a slave of the Knights of St. John. Aided by her "birthing spoons" — rudimentary forceps she invented to help with difficult births — will Hannah be able to save mother and child? And if she can, will she also be able to save herself?

Woven through Hannah's travails is the story of Isaac's life as a captive slave in Malta. Fearing that his wife has perished in the plague, he pins his hopes of returning home to Hannah on his talent for writing love letters that melt even the hardest of hearts.

What I like about the cover:

I love how literal the cover is. There is a woman and a view of Venice, which in some of the covers is set as background. I wish I could choose just one favorite among them, but the different takes are all gorgeous.


  1. Hi, Lis!

    What a BEAUTIFUL set of covers you're featuring this week!! Oh, WOW. I have to say, though, that my absolute favorite is definitely the UK cover!! It's the blue, of course! You know by now how much I ADORE blue!! Lol. But I also love the two-tiered composition. The arches in the lower half are just lovely, and they lend an air of mystery to the cover, which is further enhanced by the lone woman walking past them. The gondolas all lined up at the pier, just before dawn breaks, also add to the feeling of mystery. I LOVE the play of light -- both halves of the cover emphasize the nocturnal mood.

    The lettering used for the title is absolutely gorgeous -- I love the flourishes!!

    It's interesting that all the covers you've posted here, except for the US cover, have a two-tiered composition. I wonder if there was a psychic link among these

    The story behind the book also sounds completely fascinating, and I'm adding this one to my TBR!!

    Thanks for sharing this AWESOME collection!! : )

    1. Hi! I think if one the covers I posted had been red, black and white, I wouldn't have any problems choosing one.

      I'll have you know, I've started reading the book. I'm still only 10 pages or so into the story, but I think I see how the gondolas (besides it being Venice) tie into the story. And I like when covers do that.

  2. Really beautiful cover art but I think my favorite has to be the last one. It gives me more of a true feeling of difficulty and drama the protagonist will face and seems to match the dramatic synopsis of the story. Cool Post! Did you read the book yet? If you did, I am curious about what you thought.

    1. So far, the book looks interesting. It's just the sort of book I've been wanting to read since I'm overdosing on YA and needed a break from it, so I can finish the reviews I need to do. But I've only read a few pages. I hope it stays interesting until the end.

  3. Interesting covers. I can see how different covers would appeal to different people.

  4. All of the covers are gorgeous! I like the Bulgarian cover the most.