The Book of Madness and Cures: A Novel

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Little, Brown, Apr 10, 2012 - Fiction - 336 pages
21 Reviews
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.

Gorgeous and brilliantly written, and filled with details about science, medicine, food, and madness, THE BOOK OF MADNESS AND CURES is an unforgettable debut.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - yvonne.sevignykaiser - LibraryThing

First I won this book through GoodReads. Set in 16th century Venice it follows the life of Gabriella on a quest to find her father who left to travel and finish his chronology of diseases and cures ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ChristineEllei - LibraryThing

Venice in 1590 was one of the more forward thinking cultures of Europe. Even so, Gabriella Mondini had to hide her ability as a physician because of her gender. Her father taught her the art of ... Read full review


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About the Author

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About the author (2012)

Regina O'Melveny's poetry has been published widely in literary journals, garnering several prizes. She grew up at the edge of pungent chaparral in La Mesa, California, and chose to enroll at Callison College--a school of International Studies at the University of the Pacific--almost solely based upon the fact that the second year would be spent in India. Thus began her many extended travels that would later inspire The Book of Madness and Cures, her first novel. She lives in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

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