Karen's Reviews > The Book of Madness and Cures

The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O'Melveny
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's review
Jun 28, 12

bookshelves: 2012, fiction, first-reads, historical-fiction, lady-authors
Read from April 19 to June 28, 2012

I received this book in a First Reads giveaway.

I wanted to like this more than I did but it did hold my interest all the way through. The fact that O'Melveny is a poet was really apparent to me when I finished the book. While her prose was beautiful at times, and created a strong sense of place and character, the plot and pacing weren't executed that well. All the towns that Gabriella visited were pretty vividly created in a really subtle and economical way and I got a good sense of all the people she came across through her interactions with them.

Unfortunately, there were a few times when something important would just come out of nowhere. It felt front-loaded; the end was rushed. I feel like a journey across almost all of Europe and parts of northern Africa in the late 1500's should have been portrayed as more arduous and exhausting than it came across here. Sometimes exposition, specifically about things that happened before the main action of the story, was clunky.

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Reading Progress

04/21/2012 page 16
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