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Midwyf Paperback – 17 Aug 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Createspace (17 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451581211
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451581218
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,644,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Maria C Collins on 11 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
Valerie Levy holds a PhD in midwifery studies and has an impressive and lengthy resume. She has published work in many professional journals and co-edited `The Midwifery Practice' textbook series used worldwide. This is her first foray into fiction and what a foray, 'Midwyf' is a truly inspirational book. Ms Levy's interests in history are certainly reflected in this novel, she has researched meticulously the background for her narrative.
'Midwyf' is a novel about life. The plot centres on Liza, an old woman by the time we meet her in 1338. The prologue to the book tells us that, when she lost her husband and children in the smallpox epidemic of 1310, her mother taught her how to help women in childbirth and the ways of the wise woman. Helping the villagers of Hollingham helps Liza to cope with her enormous grief.
Liza assists the Lady Isabella and her daughter Rosalind to pass Rosalind's baby off as her mother's child. Rosalind is pregnant by a monk. Rosalind's story runs alongside Liza's story, for this secret that binds the three women inextricably together and they are never the same because of this bond.
The story is inspirational and gives one an insight into the Middle Ages, and life in a poor village and in the Manor house. It does what many other books, both fiction and non-fiction, fail to do, and tells us much about the lives and superstitions of the poor and women's lives at that time. All we know about wise women is that they were witches and ignorant and that it was a good job when science, in the form of men, took over the care of health and childbirth. Ms Levy dispels this view and her book is even-handed in this regard.
The characters are believable and warm people and draw the reader into their world and all its vagaries.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lyra on 8 Jun. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
as this book was a free promotion, thank you . I enjoyed it a lot - several free books I end up deleting I am afraid, but the quality of this writing really stood out.

I thought the character of Liza was well drawn. I liked her character and also the mystical side of her. The research was excellent, with an interest in both midwifery and history I was impressed.

I was left feeling I'd like to have heard more of Liza as I had far more interest in her than the other characters - this is meant in a complimentary way, as she was such a real person to me. Several things I found quite moving - do not want to spoil the story though !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jacquie on 8 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading about LIZA and her adventures
What a fascinating insight into medieval medicine
The story was good, harrowing at times but thoroughly enjoyable
I look forward to more from this author
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Supermum on 29 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a lover of all things medieval and a retired midwife this book appeared very enticing. I was not disappointed. What a wonderful tale and fantastically real characters. I honestly couldn't put it down. I will certainly be reading any follow-up books by this talented author. Thank you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 30 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A brilliant read cannot wait for the next book. I really enjoyed the narrative and the spiritual side of Lisa.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lesley on 6 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. An easy but very interesting read and I'll be keeping an eye open for further books by Valerie Levy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tweedledum on 10 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Valerie Levy has woven a fast paced historically accurate story around midwife Lisa who is practising the arcane and lonely art of midwifery in the C14. Vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft as soon as something goes wrong Lisa is also pitched against a greedy landowner who tries to force her out of her cottage.

Reading midwife Lisa really made me reflect on how every single person alive today probably owes their existence at some point in their family history to such dedicated women. We take for granted today that giving birth is, though still traumatic, unlikely to be life threatening for either baby or mother. We owe so much to these women who occupy the lowliest of places in the history books if they have a mention at all. A great story Valerie. I look forward to your next story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. A. Dilaudo on 7 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantastic Period detail and an intriguing storyline make this a "Must Read".Read it in one sitting_could not put it down.
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