The Book of Madness and Cures
By: Regina O'Melveny
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 2.5 stars
Dr. Gabriella Mondini has lost her father, not to death but to study. Her father left her family years ago and now she is going to look for him. A strong willed Venetian female physician in the 1590's the Dotoressa must face many challenges as she travels across Europe to find her father, however she might not be happy with what she discovers.
First off, HELLO FROM ROME! That's right, I am going to be in Italy for school for the next few weeks and to honor that, I will be posting a review that takes place in Italy.
How to begin, well to start with, I was really glad when I finished it. It took me a while to figure out why I really wasn't liking the book at all, I mean, it has everything I like. There is a strong willed woman who is breaking the barriers of her age, Renaissance, Italy - everything I like is there. So...why isn't it clicking for me? I think it was the prose of the novel, and the fact that it felt like she had written herself into a corner at one point and was just grabbing at anything to prolong the story and finally to finish it.
I did really like the relationship Gabriella had with her "servants." Yes they work for her but it feels like they are more of parents than servants and when **spoiler** (highlight to see it) one of them dies, well it nearly broke my heart...or at least it should have, I felt sad because I actually liked that character but I didn't fee the grief that I normally would in this scenario. **spoiler done**
Overall, while it had a couple of good points I would say pass on this one, though as O'Melveny matures in her writing I would keep an eye on her, she has potential for some really good work.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown and Company for giving me this book for review.