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The Book of Madness and Cures

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The Book of Madness and Cures Cover

ISBN13: 9780316195836
ISBN10: 0316195839
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Gabriella Mondini is a rarity in 16th century Venice: a woman who practices medicine. Her father, a renowned physician, has provided her entr e to this all-male profession, and inspired in her a shared mission to understand the secrets of the human body.

Then her father disappears and Gabriella faces a crisis: she is no longer permitted to treat her patients, women who need her desperately, without her father's patronage. She sets out across Europe to find where-and why-he has gone. Following clues from his occasional enigmatic letters, Gabriella crosses Switzerland, Germany and France, entering strange and forbidding cities. She travels to Scotland, the Netherlands, and finally to Morocco. In each new land she probes the mystery of her father's flight, and open new mysteries of her own. Not just mysteries of ailments and treatments, but ultimate mysteries of mortality, love, and the timeless human spirit.

Filled with medical lore and sensuous, vivid details of Renaissance life, The Book of Madness and Cures is an intoxicating and unforgettable debut.

Review:

"Poet O'Melveny's debut fiction is like a lyrical composite creature — part father/daughter epistolary novel, part aristocratic diary, part adventurer's travelogue, and part compendium of allegorical diseases. When 16th-century Venetian doctor Gabriella Mondini is barred from practicing medicine, she sets off across Europe in search of her father, a respected doctor who left under mysterious circumstances 10 years ago to gather material for his Book of Diseases. As a rare female doctor, Gabriella needs his mentorship, but his letters have grown increasingly incoherent; as she follows his route, she hears disturbing stories about his erratic behavior. Forced to cut off her distinctive red hair, she travels as a man through villages empty of women and girls after mass witch burnings. Her own adventures begin to rival the tales in her father's letters as she encounters suspicion, condescension, respect, and even romance. Gabriella's father continues to elude her, and she must face the possibility that she no longer knows where to find him. Yet she cannot resume her own life until she does. Gabriella's servants Olmina and Lorenzo accompany her and act as a pair of Sancho Panzas, providing mild salt-of-the-earth comic relief when not worn down by a yearning for home. By the time Gabriella reaches Morocco, where she believes her father to be, she too yearns for the comforts of Venice. But she has changed in ways that will greatly complicate her return. Readers will be delighted by O'Melveny's whimsical embellishments, though veterans of historical fiction may balk at the poetic, metaphor-laden prose and fancifully piebald construction. Maps. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Alisha C, August 19, 2012 (view all comments by Alisha C)
O’Melveny’s writing is good and the subject matter and storyline have a lot of potential. The bits of this novel are worth being picked through, but on the whole it doesn’t hold together well. For some, it would be be worth the read, if only to explore the mythical 16th century diseases and cures sprinkled throughout.(excerpt from review at www.luxuryreading.com)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316195836
Author:
Omelveny, Regina
Publisher:
Little Brown and Company
Author:
O'Melveny, Regina
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20120431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » New Arrivals
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » New Arrivals
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Historical

The Book of Madness and Cures Used Hardcover
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$9.95 In Stock
Product details pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316195836 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Poet O'Melveny's debut fiction is like a lyrical composite creature — part father/daughter epistolary novel, part aristocratic diary, part adventurer's travelogue, and part compendium of allegorical diseases. When 16th-century Venetian doctor Gabriella Mondini is barred from practicing medicine, she sets off across Europe in search of her father, a respected doctor who left under mysterious circumstances 10 years ago to gather material for his Book of Diseases. As a rare female doctor, Gabriella needs his mentorship, but his letters have grown increasingly incoherent; as she follows his route, she hears disturbing stories about his erratic behavior. Forced to cut off her distinctive red hair, she travels as a man through villages empty of women and girls after mass witch burnings. Her own adventures begin to rival the tales in her father's letters as she encounters suspicion, condescension, respect, and even romance. Gabriella's father continues to elude her, and she must face the possibility that she no longer knows where to find him. Yet she cannot resume her own life until she does. Gabriella's servants Olmina and Lorenzo accompany her and act as a pair of Sancho Panzas, providing mild salt-of-the-earth comic relief when not worn down by a yearning for home. By the time Gabriella reaches Morocco, where she believes her father to be, she too yearns for the comforts of Venice. But she has changed in ways that will greatly complicate her return. Readers will be delighted by O'Melveny's whimsical embellishments, though veterans of historical fiction may balk at the poetic, metaphor-laden prose and fancifully piebald construction. Maps. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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