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The Midwife's Advice

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Hannah Sokolow, the spirited heroine of the international bestseller, The Midwife, returns to tackle new medical challenges in New York. As head midwife for Bellevue Hospital, Hannah faces opposition from male obstetricians who are protecting their turff. After counseling one troubled immigrant woman, Hannah takes a bold step toward a new frontier: sex therapy. When her husband follows his political heart to help the Russian revolution, Hannah follows hers--into a searing affair with a prominent doctor who is ...
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The Midwife's Advice

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Overview

Hannah Sokolow, the spirited heroine of the international bestseller, The Midwife, returns to tackle new medical challenges in New York. As head midwife for Bellevue Hospital, Hannah faces opposition from male obstetricians who are protecting their turff. After counseling one troubled immigrant woman, Hannah takes a bold step toward a new frontier: sex therapy. When her husband follows his political heart to help the Russian revolution, Hannah follows hers--into a searing affair with a prominent doctor who is separated from her by faith, class, and marriage, but who is driven with a fierce desire that matches her own.

Hannah, the spirited Jewish-American heroine of Gay Courter's bestselling novel The Midwife, returns in this powerful story to face new medical challenges in turn-of-the-century New York. This wonderfully vivid tale is alive with the passion of one woman's remarkable strength and spirit.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
First met in Courter's bestselling novel The Midwife , Hannah Sokolow returns in a compelling sequel set during the years 1913-1922. Now head midwife at Bellevue Hospital, Hannah finds herself dispensing sexual advice to her impoverished patients, becoming, as it were, a forerunner of Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Hannah's acquires a reputation as a miracle worker after she counsels an Italian-American mother of five girls on how to conceive a male child. (Having noticed the preponderance of boys among orthodox Jewish families, she suggests that her patient follow Talmudic directions on sexual matters.) Although she studies the works of Freud, Kraft-Ebbing and Havelock Ellis, Hannah uses mainly intuition and common sense to counsel her embarrassed clients about all aspects of female--and male--sexuality. Her own domestic life unravels when husband Lazar returns to Russia as Trotsky's aide, leaving her to enjoy a steamy affair with Bellevue's head of obstetrics. Courter links her rambling story to the events of the era, as Hannah forms an uneasy alliance with a parade of feminists and revolutionaries. A surfeit of vacuous characters and gratuitous cameo appearances by such historical figures as Walter Lippmann and Emma Goldman impede the narrative flow somewhat, but Hannah's achievements (and perhaps Courter's explicit descriptions of human anatomy and sexual functions) will keep readers absorbed. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild alternate. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Hannah Sokolow ( The Midwife , LJ 1/15/81. o.p.) returns in a sequel covering the years 1913-22. The persistent questions of her patients at Bellevue Hospital drive Hannah to consult privately about sexual behavior. Each chapter deals with a different year and a different problem. Underlying the discussion of sexual and medical conditions are the political events of the day--World War I, the battle for birth control, and the Russian revolution--and medical or political details often slow this long book. Hannah's love affair during her husband's prolonged absence in Mother Russia adds interest. While Hannah may be atypical in her professional successes (the title comes from her advice column in a Yiddish paper), her efforts to work while being a wife and mother without much help will be familiar to many. Competent, but not compelling; for libraries where The Midwife was popular. Literary Guild alternate; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/92.-- Rebecca S. Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Stuart Whitwell
Given that at any one time there are perhaps not a dozen writers in the world whose works are not substantially constructed from and shaped by cliche, why do the cliches of, say, the hard-boiled mystery merit any more serious attention than those of the "women's magazine" and the romance? Male sexism, one suspects, and early feminism's capitulation to it. So, though most male readers and self-conscious feminists will, by reflex, no doubt eschew the pleasures of a Gay Courter novel, there are still many who will read with great satisfaction this tale of a Jewish midwife and pioneering sex-therapist set in the early part of our century. Hannah's family is beautiful, her relationship with her husband is troubled but tender, her mother complains too much about Hannah not staying at home with the kids, and her career is rich with a multitude of struggles and the marvels that grow out of them. Cliched? Yes, but familiar and in its own way thought-provoking. As for the mid-wifery and sex-therapy, both thoroughly researched, who will not be interested in these? Perhaps the least interesting aspect of the novel are the big historical figures who pop in and out. But they don't really hurt very much and demand should be substantial.
Fran Handman
"The trials and tribulations of Hannah Sololow, beautiful Russian immigrant and pioneer sex therapist, could be the stuff from which television miniseries are made."
Helen Friese
"Engrossing….fast-paced…timely…provides a historical background for today’s headlines… Gay Courter is a gifted writer.”
Noah Gordon
“A terrific read…Hannah Sokolow is back, cutting a vibrant path through New York in the early 1900s and teaching her patients that women deserve full-blown eroticism as much as men do.”
Catherine M. Nelson
“A beautiful Jewish-American woman in the bold new medical frontier of sex therapy….Compelling, engrossing!”
Gloria Goldreich
"Courter's canvas is startling broad and colorful...it teaches as it engages the imagination."
New York Times Book Review - Fran Handman
"The trials and tribulations of Hannah Sololow, beautiful Russian immigrant and pioneer sex therapist, could be the stuff from which television miniseries are made."
BookPage - Helen Friese
"Engrossing….fast-paced…timely…provides a historical background for today’s headlines… Gay Courter is a gifted writer.”
Dutton News - Noah Gordon
“A terrific read…Hannah Sokolow is back, cutting a vibrant path through New York in the early 1900s and teaching her patients that women deserve full-blown eroticism as much as men do.”
Rave Reviews - Catherine M. Nelson
“A beautiful Jewish-American woman in the bold new medical frontier of sex therapy….Compelling, engrossing!”
Hadassah Magazine - Gloria Goldreich
"Courter's canvas is startling broad and colorful...it teaches as it engages the imagination."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451176929
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 720
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 8.86 (h) x 1.59 (d)

Meet the Author

GAY COURTER HAS WORKED CONTINUOUSLY IN FILM AND television production since graduation from Antioch College and has produced more than 200 documentary and educational films. She is author of five bestselling novels with over three million copies in print worldwide including The Midwife, The Midwife’s Advice, Code Ezra, River of Dreams, and Flowers in the Blood. Her non-fiction works include The Beansprout Book and I Speak For This Child, and How To Survive Your Husband’s Midlife Crisis.
Gay has served as a volunteer in the Florida Guardian Ad Litem program since 1989 in which she acts as the court appointed advocate for neglected and abused children. Her book about her experiences, I Speak For This Child: True Stories of a Child Advocate, brought national attention to the cause. She has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Day One, NBC Weekend Edition, and in Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor and other national publications as an expert on these issues and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Gay has also received the Child Advocate of the Year award in Florida for her work as a Guardian Ad Litem, the Sharon Solomon Child Advocate Award from the Florida Center for Children and Youth, and special recognition from the Florida Chapter of American Women in Radio and Television, Inc. for her work on Where’s My Chance? The Case for Our Children, which also won an Emmy. Gay received her second Emmy from the National Academy of Arts and Television Sciences, Suncoast Chapter, for a series of public service announcements called Solutions for America’s Children. She has been selected as one of the 10 most admired women in Citrus County twice—in the community service and arts categories. In 2004, Gay, her husband, Philip, and daughter, Ashley, jointly won the Angels in Adoption award from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
Gay is married to her collaborator in documentary films, Philip Courter. They have produced almost hundred films on child welfare topics and specialize in media about children’s issues and strengthening family. Clients include National CASA, the National Council of Family and Juvenile Judges, the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and the North American Council on Adoptable Children.
www.gaycourter.com
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