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Midwife : Liza (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Valerie Levy
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

The year is 1339. Liza’s midwifery skills are needed by the inhabitants of Hollingham. Knowing this keeps the lonely old woman going, together with the occasional ‘trip’ to her long dead husband and children. But she makes one mistake, and the villagers begin to suspect she is using occult spells to harm them. She tries desperately to regain their trust, but time is running short. Rosalind, rich, lonely and naïve, wants to experience true love and falls in love with a monk, by whom she conceives a child. Liza and the Lady Isabella, Rosalind’s mother, must pick up the pieces. None of the three women will ever be the same again.

LIZA is the first book in the MIDWIFE series, which tells the story of midwives, women and childbirth in England from medieval to modern times.

Author's note - This book was previously titled 'MIDWYF: LISA'. The cover still contains the old title because I like the medieval spelling, but the 'official' title brings the book into line with the series.
MIDWIFE: BEATRIX, set in Hollingham and London in the 1630s, is due to be published early 2013.


Valerie Levy holds a PhD in Midwifery Studies from the University of Sheffield. She has published in many professional, peer reviewed journals, and co-edited the ‘Midwifery Practice’ series of textbooks, which are still in use worldwide. Now retired, Valerie lives in France with her husband.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 652 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 240 pages
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00422LGZA
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°384.721 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
Par Moriarty
Format:Broché
Before you read this book, take the phone off the hook, make yourself a large cup of cocoa and snuggle up in your favourite chair as you will be drawn into this novel from the first few pages!

A wholly engrossing read - the characters draw you into their mediaeval lives and tell you their story. Liza - an elderly midwife who has some basic medical knowledge and knows the healing powers of herbs - is midwife to the local villagers who need her services. But she treads a fine, and often dangerous, line with her work. The ever-present threat of 'witch' is in the background from the all-powerful patriarchal Church.

The author speaks with the language of the day and her male and female characters live - from today's perspective - bleak lives filled with hardship and toil. But they rejoice at the things we do: birth, weddings, christenings, marriages and have a pragmatic acceptance of the things they cannot change, illness and death.

Liza is the central character and her tale is often harrowing but as the author writes her story, you are transported there. You, too, are in Liza's little hut as she works away stirring her herbs over the smoky fire. The author's descriptions are well-observed and capture a picture - at one point I could smell the woodsmoke of Liza's fire and see her cluttered hut through her eyes. Now that's a good author - who brings you into the scene as a silent observer.

I read this book eagerly the first time. When I was getting to the end I was slowing down as I didn't want this story to end. And I'm now reading it for a second time to savour this tale.

So make yourself comfortable - you will be drawn into this tale of mediaeval intrigue and then, like me, will be impatiently awaiting another book.

A cracking good read .... buy it, enjoy it, savour it, and bring old Liza to life in these pages !!
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  47 commentaires
46 internautes sur 47 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Book review Midwyf by Valerie Levy. 11 novembre 2010
Par Maria C Collins - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
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. I could see the huts, smell the fire, and felt Liza's aching back. I could not put this book down and read it in one sitting.
This book is hard to place in any known category. It is historical fiction, but do not choose it, if you enjoy the usual, sickly sweet, offerings in the category. There is love in the novel, but it is not the sloppy boy meets girl kind. The book is, what I would call, historical fiction with muscles. It is well written, well researched and a rattling good read. It would appeal to those women, who despair of the usual standard of historical fiction. It is robust and the women within are strong rather than weak.
`Midwyf' is the first novel in a proposed series, and this reader hopes that Ms Levy does not keep her readers waiting too long for her next offering.
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An absorbing and enjoyable read that takes you there ! 5 novembre 2010
Par Moriarty - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Before you read this book, take the phone off the hook, make yourself a large cup of cocoa and snuggle up in your favourite chair as you will be drawn into this novel from the first few pages!

A wholly engrossing read - the characters draw you into their mediaeval lives and tell you their story. Liza - an elderly midwife who has some basic medical knowledge and knows the healing powers of herbs - is midwife to the local villagers who need her services. But she treads a fine, and often dangerous, line with her work. The ever-present threat of 'witch' is in the background from the all-powerful patriarchal Church.

The author speaks with the language of the day and her male and female characters live - from today's perspective - bleak lives filled with hardship and toil. But they rejoice at the things we do: birth, weddings, christenings, marriages and have a pragmatic acceptance of the things they cannot change, illness and death.

Liza is the central character and her tale is often harrowing but as the author writes her story, you are transported there. You, too, are in Liza's little hut as she works away stirring her herbs over the smoky fire. The author's descriptions are well-observed and capture a picture - at one point I could smell the woodsmoke of Liza's fire and see her cluttered hut through her eyes. Now that's a good author - who brings you into the scene as a silent observer.

I read this book eagerly the first time. When I was getting to the end I was slowing down as I didn't want this story to end. And I'm now reading it for a second time to savour this tale.

So make yourself comfortable - you will be drawn into this tale of mediaeval intrigue and then, like me, will be impatiently awaiting another book.

A cracking good read .... buy it, enjoy it, savour it, and bring old Liza to life in these pages !!
20 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good historical 9 janvier 2012
Par KAragon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I truly enjoyed this story of Liza, a midwife in the 14th century. I purchased the book simply because it looked to be a study of women and their lives in a time period that I was interested in.

I found the characters believable and well developed though I still wonder why Isabella was such a horrible mother/person. Was it the history of miscarriages or disappointment that her one surviving child was a girl or something from her childhood? I just never got it. Maybe there was no reason but I would have liked more information.

Why not 5 stars? For one, editing. I spent the first six chapters rewriting the book in my head as I was reading. I felt like almost every sentence could have been cut by a third and readers would still have gotten the point. I almost quit the book because I was so frustrated with it. I did notice a marked improvement in the 7th chapter. Did the author have two different editors or did she decide the readers got the idea and didn't need a 15 word sentence when a 10 sentence word would do or did I just get used to the style? I don't know. Whichever may have been the cause for the change, I appreciated it because I wouldn't have finished the book otherwise.

I read the kindle edition so formatting is important to me. I don't remember any typos in the book which was a refreshing change but the font kept changing throughout. Rather jarring for me. I'm just reading away and suddenly the font will almost double in size, then it goes back to the usual but then it changes again. I don't pretend to know what it takes to make a well formatted book but I know some people do it right so I don't understand when it is not well done. Chapter breaks are not formatted in this book either. I personally have come to appreciate chapter breaks. Some do it, some don't. I just wish all authors/publishers would do it.

In the end, I would recommend this book to all interested in this time period while at the same time mentioning the editing and formatting issues I had with the book.

ETC Typo
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Gripping 16 octobre 2010
Par Janet Bettle - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I read this book on a long train journey and it was so absorbing that I nearly missed my station! It follows the life of a 14th century midwife, Liza, and tells us much about life in England at this time. There is an interesting sub plot about the disguised pregnancy of a well to do unmarried daughter. The book is both entertaining and informative - the author certainly has a huge amount of specialist knowledge but writes in a lively way. Much recommended!
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 an original take on medieval English life 12 février 2012
Par Jean Gill - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Midwife : Liza'Midwyf' is a 'warts and all' evocation of a historical period in which warts meant witches, and you couldn't trust even a baby to be untouched by the devil. Levy's horribly fascinating details of births, diseases and superstition are founded on her own expertise in midwifery and on meticulous research. I felt caught up in the alien world of the fourteenth century, in a suffocating English village, and if I had a criticism of the historical background, it would be that it was too realistic. At no moment did I feel any romantic delusions of wanting to live in such a world. In fact, romantic delusions of all kinds get a strong dose of foul-smelling potions throughout the plot.

At the start I felt empathy for the Midwyf Liza, bereaved and dedicated to her role in the community, as a replacement for the family she lost to smallpox at the start of the novel. We see much of the story from Liza's viewpoint, and her semi-magical 'trips' to make love to her dead husband keep her character on the verge of being the witch she comes to be seen as by the villagers. However, her style of referring to herself in the third person, and her interpretation of events, keep a distance between her and the reader. I found the same to be true with the other potentially sympathetic character, Rosalind, whose girlish ideals of romance follow a more sordid path with a thoroughly despicable monk. My expectations were challenged again and again by the story, and I think this is one of its strengths; lulling the reader into categorisng the book and then making you think again. I loved the resolution of Liza's story.

I wasn't convinced by some twists in the plot but Levy's capacity to surprise me made up for this. I didn't get close to any of the characters but I did get very close to feeling I lived in the fourteenth century - and I hated it there!

In the version I read, Levy used footnotes, and I'm glad that she's going to change this practice. I hate the interruption to a story from footnotes and I feel there are so many other ways an author could clarify vocabulary, that it's a clumsy technique, acceptable only in non-fiction or for comic intent. I think in 'Midwyf' the footnotes also highlight the author's tendency at times to care too much about the factual background, even if it's at the expense of the story. At times 'Midwyf' teeters between a historical account, however gripping, and a story of people and passions. For me, it does fall the right side of the fence but that balancing act isn't always easy for Levy to maintain. The series will stand or fall on its stories and characters, not on what we learn about midwifery, amazingly awful as these insights might be.
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