Reading the Sequel First

Usually you want to read books that have a sequel first. The same can be said for movies. A sequel usually requires that you know a certain amount of information from the previous book or books.

While I was at the airport in Tel Aviv waiting for my flight I needed to spend some of my remaining shekels. Of course I headed to a bookstore as I had an excuse to buy more books.

The Harem Midwife, Roberta Rich, Istanbul, Topkapi Palace, Harem, Istanbul HaremOne of the books that caught my eye was The Harem Midwife by Roberta Rich.

After reading the description the book went into my cart. The story was set in the 16th century which is an interesting time period for Istanbul. The main physical setting of the novel was the harem of the Topkapi palace in Istanbul.  Since I had visited the harem there I decided that this would be an interesting book to read.

Topkapi Palace Harem - harem - Beautiful buildingsI shared the picture above in my post Historic Istanbul. The tile work within the Topkapi harem is really beautiful.

Topkapi Harem, Istanbul, Harem, The Harem MidwifeI could easily follow the descriptions in the book and picture the characters as they made their way through the rooms and passages of the harem. The book really came alive since I had a vivid picture of the setting.

Topkapi Harem, Istanbul, Murat III, Constantinople, sultan I could even picture things that were not described in the book, like this beautiful ceiling.

I took The Harem Midwife with me on my trip to Shanghai last month. The book had a really good story line, but I soon found out that I was missing a little bit of the background story that the author assumes that the reader knew.

I had noticed in the front material that Roberta Rich had also written a book titled The Midwife of Venice, but it did not mention that this book was a sequel to it.

The Midwife of Venice, Robert Rich, Hannah Levi, Jewish, VeniceI did a quick search in Goodreads and found that the two books were a series. I then checked to see if my library had a copy of the first book.

Unfortunately, my library system did not have a copy of The Midwife of Venice, but I was able to request it from Link+ when I got back home from my trip.

The first book was also very good and I really enjoyed it. The author gave me a good look into life in 16th century Venice. Especially the relationships between the Venetians and the Jews. I also found out the back story of the characters in The Harem Midwife and found out how they had made it to Istanbul.

Of course, it was a little different reading the book since I already knew some of the outcomes of the story.

I may have to read The Harem Midwife again since I now know more of the background of the characters. However, I have so many books in my to read stacks that it will probably not be anytime soon.

Have you every read a sequel before the book or books that came before it?

Steven

 

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