The Book of Madness and Cures
By Regina O’Melveny
Hello again fellow readers! Today it is very cool and sprinkling here. A little bit dreary. I am looking forward to a few days off of work. This is another great historical fiction novel. It is perfect for when you have a couple of days off and want to really get into a book and escape.
I received this book for free from Goodreads. It was released in April of 2012 as a hardcover and recently released as a paperback. It is 316 pages. It is a beautiful father and daughter story. I have the one on top. I was surprised that this had been released with two other covers already in the short time that it has been out. I couldn’t decide which I liked better.
This is the journey of Gabriella the doctoressa as she searches for her father. Gabriella is a strong woman who was taught to be a doctor by her father. She is forced to quit doctoring after her father leaves. It is not an acceptable occupation for women in 17th century Venice. She follows in her father’s footsteps traveling to Switzerland, Germany, France, Scotland, the Netherlands and lastly Morocco. In each place she learns more and more about her father. She often dresses as a man to avoid trouble. In her journey she stays with the same doctors that her father stayed with and meets with many unsavory characters and difficult situations. Olmina and Lorenzo her family’s servants accompany her throughout most of the journey. Olmina is more like a mother to Gabriella. Gabriella’s own mother is disappointed in her and Gabriella has never been what her mother wished her to be.
I found the treatments and the illnesses that Gabriella describes in the book, an interesting look at 17th century medicine. I should have seen the ending coming, but the book ended a little different from how I thought it would. It was a bitter-sweet ending. Gabriella finds love with Hamish and has a daughter, but this is only part of the ending. I don’t want to give the whole thing away.
This book went pretty fast for me. I think I finished it in 3 or 4 days. It did seem to take a long time to get to the end of the story. The end was short in comparison to the length of the tale. It kept me reading to see what would happen to Gabriella next. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
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