The Book of Madness and Cures

The Book of Madness and Cures

A Novel

Book - 2012
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Gabriella Mondini is a rarity in 16th century Venice: a woman who practices medicine. Her father, a renowned physician, has provided her entree 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 opens new mysteries of her own. Not just mysteries of ailments and treatments, but ultimate mysteries of mortality, love, and the timeless human spirit. The novel contains medical lore and sensuous, vivid details of Renaissance life.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316195836
Characteristics: viii, 320 p. : map ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Book of madness and cures


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Jul 19, 2017

I was really excited about the premise and setting of this book, but I was left wanting more. It was a good story but just not well supported with the details I was waiting for. Maybe this historical fiction was lacking the research needed to bring it to life, I couldn't picture the places she travelled and I didn't care much what happened to the characters, removing emotion from events that should have been emotional. I also didn't like the way the servants were characterized. It was overly simplistic, which was unfortunate as they were a big part of the story. At the end of the day, I still enjoyed the book. But it was disappointing because I feel it had so much more potential.

carrilis Dec 27, 2012

This took a while to read, but was very well written. The characters are well developed and although it may not be historically correct in all aspects (it is fiction) the feel of the 1500's is woven into the story quite well.

May 30, 2012

This story of a woman doctor in Renaissance Europe who travels to the east to find her missing father, also a doctor, is an interesting story that may be historical fiction but is more fiction than I like. So many unbelievable aspects about women in that time period just ring false. Very disappointing.


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