The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O'Melveny
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Publication Date: April 2012
Categories: General, Historical, Mystery & Detective
Dr. Gabriella Mondini, a strong-willed, young Venetian woman, has followed her father in the path of medicine. She possesses a singleminded passion for the art of physick, even though, in 1590, the male-dominated establishment is reluctant to accept a woman doctor. So when her father disappears on a mysterious journey, Gabriella's own status in the Venetian medical society is threatened. Her father has left clues--beautiful, thoughtful, sometimes torrid, and often enigmatic letters from his travels as he researches his vast encyclopedia, The Book of Diseases.
After ten years of missing his kindness, insight, and guidance, Gabriella decides to set off on a quest to find him--a daunting journey that will take her through great university cities, centers of medicine, and remote villages across Europe. Despite setbacks, wary strangers, and the menaces of the road, the young doctor bravely follows the clues to her lost father, all while taking notes on maladies and treating the ill to supplement her own work.
This was a DNF (Did Not Finish) for me. I made it to page 51 but I realized that I wasn't looking forward to turning any more pages.
I understand that the author is an accomplished poet. Her use of language is obviously beautiful. Perhaps too beautiful? I wasn't connecting at all to the characters but the scenery was depicted remarkably well.
This may have been a case of reader fatigue, or perhaps I'm not currently in the mood for this type of book. I might give this another try at a later date. I do think that others would probably enjoy this, and I'm also sure that many readers have. It just wasn't for this girl, at this time.
About the Author