Dree's Reviews > The Book of Madness and Cures

The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O'Melveny
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Aug 15, 12

bookshelves: 2012-reads, continental-europe
Read from August 09 to 15, 2012

Venice, 1590. Gabriella Modini, trained as a doctor by her doctor father, has been expelled from the guild for being female. Her father left Venice 10 years earlier to do research for his book. His letters have been coming less often, and each seems less like him. She decides to trace his route with her trusted servants Olmina and Lorenzo, to try to find him.

Written in the first person in a formal, stilted "16th century" style (I guess), it sounds like an adventure. Only it isn't very adventurous. And it is a bit of a romance, but it also isn't very romantic. Mostly it is slow and dull. There are Gabriella's writings on various maladies and cures, as she takes notes for her father's book. These maladies are all very far-fetched and odd, though some smack of mental illness, or OCD. Others (blue earworms?) are just weird. Are these actual diagnoses from the 16th century? I have no idea.

It all wraps up very neatly in the end. In about 5 pages. Too neatly.
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08/10/2012 page 97
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