The Book of Madness and Cures (Hardcover)

By Regina O'Melveny

Thorndike Press, 9781410449412, 505pp.

Publication Date: July 6, 2012

April 2012 Indie Next List

“Gabriella lived in Venice, where women in the 16th century had roles strictly limited by the church and custom. Gabriella was her father's protege, however, and he taught her to follow in his footsteps as a physician, a role usually not allowed women. Then her father disappeared. After awaiting his return and forbidden to practice in his absence, Gabriella follows in her father's footsteps once again, this time on an epic adventure across Europe and into Africa to bring him home. An unforgettable debut!”
— Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR
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Description

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.


About the Author

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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