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A Golden Web

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  695 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Alessandra is desperate to escape.

Desperate to escape her stepmother, who's locked her away for a year; to escape the cloister that awaits her and the marriage plans that have been made for her; to escape the expectations that limit her and every other girl in fourteenth-century Italy. There's no tolerance in her quiet village for Alessandra and her keen intelligence and u
Hardcover, 266 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by HarperTeen (first published January 1st 2000)
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3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  695 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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Michiyo 'jia' Fujiwara
“Aku tidak mau dilupakan.”
“Kau tidak akan dilupakan, Alessandra Giliani.”
“Kau berjanji kepadaku?”

Dan inilah janji Otto pada Alessandra..sebuah plakat..yang isinya..dipercaya dahulu merupakan jasad dari Alessandra Giliani, seorang wanita muda..yang menjadi dasar penulisan cerita ini.

“In quest'urna le ceneri di Alessandria Giliani, una giovane di Persiceto, abile nelle dimostrazioni anatomiche e discepola, eguagliata da pochi, di uno dei più famosi medici, Mondino de'Liuzzi, attendono la resurrezi
Sulis Peri Hutan
Alhamdulillah dapet ni buku dari atria :D
Selesai jam 3.30 waktu setempat, rekor karena jam bacaku itu mentok sampe jam 3 saja.
Agak diluar bayangan dan harapanku sih sebenarnya ini cerita. Tentang Alessandra Gilliani seorang remaja yang berotak cemerlang yang sayangnya pada masa itu tradisi tidak memperbolehkan seorang wanita menjadi pandai, hanya boleh menjadi seorang ibu rumah tangga dan seorang biarawati. Bakatnya mulai terlihat ketika Fra Giuseppe seorang pendeta mesum sekaligus guru Nicco, k
Tara Chevrestt
This was a quick, easy read, classified as a Young Adult novel for ages 12 and up but I honestly think the writing style is more for pre teens, not that older people won't enjoy it tho.

Based on the real life Alessandra Giliani, the first female anatomist (Be sure to read the Author's Note at the end!), this novel starts with Alessandra as a teenager under her jealous step mother's thumb. When she turns fourteen, her step mother sees fit to literally confine her the house. Alessandra desires to
Jennifer Wardrip
Aug 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Lynn Crow for

Alessandra has always been the odd one out in her family, more interested in reading scientific texts and exploring the forest with her older brother than proper feminine pursuits. She dreams of studying medicine and becoming a doctor - an unheard of ambition for a girl.

Her oddness draws the ire of her stepmother, who turns on Alessandra when her father's away. When her father agrees to arrange a marriage for her at her stepmother's insistence, Alessandr
A remarkable story, disappointingly told. Alessandra Giliani lived in 1300s Italy, a time when women were burned at the stake for being "witches." Yet she somehow became the first female anatomist in recorded (Western?) history. She was also loved by a man who accepted her as she was and respected her work. He memorialized her with a plaque in an Italian church, which celebrated her legacy and described her as "his better half, his excellent companion who deserved the best."

These are the details

This is a very interesting story about Alessandra Giliani, a somewhat legendary girl who attended medical school in the 14th century. I appreciated that Barbara Quick was clear about what was based on historical fact (however murky those facts are) and what was fabricated for the story. The writing let me down: it glossed over long periods of time and didn't go into enough detail. I enjoyed reading this and learning more about Alessandra, but it isn't one I would revisit.
Alvi Harahap
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you are a fan of historical fiction, you should check this one out. It was quick, interesting, inspiring tale of Alessandra Giliani, Italy's first anatomist (who may or may not have actually existed). Part biography, part fiction and part cinderella story, A Golden Web is a book you want to check out.

This book had me from the start. The writing style of A Golden Web had me feeling like a was reading an old fairy tale, mixed with a piece of history. It was quickly paced, easily read, and enjo
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
It wasn't bad, it wasn't spectacular either, but it was quick and enjoyable. Some things were very predictable and cliche but nothing unbearable.
Heidi Turnquist
Nov 11, 2011 rated it liked it
A Golden Web is about a girl, named Alessandra Gilliana growing up in the 14th century in Italy. Her mother died when her youngest brother was born and she is now living as her stepmother's least favorite child. For some reson "Zan" as she is dubbed by her siblings is unusually knoweledgeable and has a unique capacity to learn. She does not like her stepmother very much but is at least allowed to run outside and play with her other siblings or spend her time learning and reading. That is until h ...more
Jul 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Original/ full review here:

A Golden Web is the imaginative, captivating, and unforgettable debut novel for young adults from established historical fiction author, Barbara Quick.

Alessandra is a girl full of intelligence, curiosity, and determination, characteristics unheard of in a girl of her era. She dreads being married and yearns to study medicine at the University, but to do so would provoke the accusations of being a witch. Alessandra was such a str
Jul 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'm usually not a big fan of historical fiction, but Alessandra's story drew me in right from the beginning. Her story is one that fills story books. The girl who is trapped, and longs to be free. Who knows that she is destined for something better. However where Alessandra's story strays from the norm, is that she actually does it! She doesn't just dream about leaving, she doesn't just wish to be better, she does it.

As a character, I fell in love with Alessandra instantly. Her fiesty attitude,
Dion Yulianto
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Membaca A Golden Web, kita serasa dibawa ke Abad Pertengahan dari mata seorang perempuan muda. Dengan sesekali diselingi bumbu-bumbu percintaan khas anak muda, novel ini berupaya mengangkat sosok yang selama ini mungkin dilupakan oleh sejarah dunia. Bahwa mungkin ada seorang perempuan brilian di antara manusia-manusia era pra-Renaisance yang didominasi cowok-cowok. Melalui Alessandra, penulis mengingatkan kembali tentang peran Ibn al-Nafis, seorang cendekiawan yang hebat dalam bidang hukum, kedo ...more
Paige (Arya)
Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A Golden Web by Barbara Quick 5 of 5 stars.
To be released April 2010.

Alessandra is desperate to escape from her stepmother, who's locked her away for a year; from the cloister that awaits her if she refuses the marriage plans that have been made for her; from the expectations that limit her and every other girl in fourteenth-century Italy.
In defiant pursuit of her dreams, Alessandra undertakes an audacious quest, her bravery equaled only by the dangers she faces. Disguised and alone in a city of
Apr 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
A Golden Web by Barbara Quick is an incredibly inspiring retelling of the life of Alessandra Giliani. Though the tale of a young girl that refuses to give up her dreams IS touching- I found myself skimming the pages as the first 130 pages are relatively dull. Though I'm a fan of historical fiction, there was something that kept me from completely throwing myself into this story. I think it is just because it took so long to get to the adventure- where Alessandra disguises herself and flees.

I did
After reading The False Princess, Alessandra was quite refreshing. Resourceful, intelligent, and willing to deal with situations as they come, she's an entirely likable heroine. And her brother, Nicco, is every bit as likable. The romance between her and Otto got a little bit on my nerves, but overall I did not mind it too much. It was more Alessandra's "young love" that I didn't particularly care for than anything else, but I would not change it if only because it was accurate. Otto's discovery ...more
Mar 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
From the start A Golden Web is a very enchanting book. I found myself liking Alessandra from the very beginning. She is a smart girl in a culture where women are mainly there to marry and to tend house and have babies. On top of all of these usual expectations, Alessandra is the oldest daughter and has a stepmother who is not overly fond of her.

Alessandra does the smart thing, she gets her brother to help teach her the ways of survival and how to be a boy. With this knowledge she is able to snea
Jamie Dacyczyn
Sep 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Hmmm...this book is a little confusing for me to decide whether or not to like it. Overall, it was an entertaining read, with decent descriptions, and a good historical feel.

On the other hand, the plot seemed a little un-original and contrived. Willful girl fears boring life as a typical wife, disquises herself as a boy, runs away, it totally awesome at whatever she asprires to do, is even better than ALL of the men, is eventually found out by a man that she falls in love with, but luckily she's
Lies Tangalayuk
Another great historical fiction work. I always appreciate this genre, especially the author. Moreover, Miss Quick also touches the gender inequality as the main theme. As the main character, Alessandra fights really hard to pursuit her dream that is to get to school and become a doctor, which is impossible for woman in the 14th century of Italy. She doesn't only must run away from home, but also dress up and act like a man. However, this is kind of a happy ending story where Alessandra gets her ...more
I suppose the biggest problem is the characters didn't come alive for me. And neither did the historical setting. The characters felt kind of modern.

This aspect was better as it went on, but, initially, Alessandra felt too on the nose as the super-smart, ahead of her time girl. I did mostly buy how she ended up with an unusual ambition for the time period, which was nice.

Edit: I forgot to say. I thought of this as a middle grade book and the writing kind of reads like that. But it touches on eno
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction yang menarik dan inspiratif. Alur cerita maupun gaya bahasa mengalir lancar. Hanya sayang, aku kurang puas dengan endingnya, tidak sesuai yang diharapkan. Bagaimanapun juga, 4 bintang tetap layak disematkan :)
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I admit to being quite ignorant when it comes to European historical figures.  Everything after Rome fell is pretty much a gray area of if I know about its only because of a movie, TV Show or freak accident while reading.  So unsurprisingly before I began this book, which is a fictional accounting of Alessandra Giliani, I went researching.  And insofar as wikipedia can be trusted I discovered that Alessandra died at a young age (19 years) in a fire.

Well then.  I guess I won't be expecting a happ
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terharu dengan semangat belajar, tekad, dan dukungan dari orang-orang di sekitar Alessandra. Walaupun banyak hal dalam kisah perempuan ini adalah rekaan penulis, tapi suasana yang disuguhkan memberikan bayangan yang cukup mengenai kondisi sosial masyarakat pada zaman itu. Betapa menjadi perempuan yang cerdas adalah sebuah aib yang harus ditutupi. Dan betapa tidak beruntungnya, saat hidup mereka hanya dinilai sebatas peran sebagai penyetak bayi, tanpa hak untuk mendapatkan kehidupan yang mereka k ...more
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this to be a fun story that touches on difficult social customs of the past. At the beginning I was frustrated at how fast the characters were introduced and in a less than detailed way. The second half of the book rounded out the characters nicely and it was a satisfactory ending. There were a few delightful twists and turns and the storyline itself was one of discovery and difficult decisions. The information that it is based off some fragments of history made it all the more enjoyable ...more
Nov 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aristoteles menyuarakan pemikirannya bahwa seorang wanita secara fisik lebih rendah dari pria, tempat wanita harusnya hanya dirumah, dan wanita tidak perlu mendapatkan pendidikan yang sama dengan seorang pria. Hei para wanita…apakah anda senang mendengar pendapat seperti itu?

Wanita di masa sekarang tentu tidak akan senang. Namun sekitar abad ke-13 atau abad ke-14, pemikiran ini begitu mengakar di masyarakat. Seorang wanita hanya mendapatkan pendidikan secara informal, seperti dalam biara atau o
Dari awal tau tentang buku ini aku udah tertarik, aku suka historical fiction soalnya ;) seneng banget pas dapat swap dari Sulis, pas selesai membaca jg nggak kecewa :))

-update 12 Jun 2011-

Malang benar nasib para perempuan yang hidup di Italia pada awal abad keempat belas. Hanya ada dua pilihan hidup bagi mereka: kalau tidak menjadi seorang istri, berarti menjadi biarawati. Kalaupun bekerja, paling-paling sebagai pelayan. Setiap perempuan yang menunjukkan kemampuan di bidang lainnya misalnya dal
Sai Sruthi
A woman anatomist- can you even imagine that? It was this chauvinistic view that Alessandra Giliani sought to oppose and she did it well.
The book is so beautiful and sad at the same time. You keep wondering if being born as a girl is a mistake, for a girl can only do so much. What about her dreams, aspirations and feelings. What about her talent?
A book that provides food for thought.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was not into this, and I'll admit that's probably partly because I read the description really fast and thought she was studying astronomy rather than anatomy. But even without that, it felt really flat.
Rina Chomawati
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Salah satu buku berkaitan dengan emansipasi wanita. Alessandra Gilliani adalah pemberontak, memiliki tekad kuat dan mampu membukakan mata dunia bahwa perempuan juga bisa. Berbagai cara dilakukan agar ia bisa sekolah bahkan menyamar menjadi seorang pria.
Kaitlyn  Saunders
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
What a cute book! I would recommend it to young girls looking for a book showcasing a strong female lead. Good historical fiction, an easy read, and fun characters.
Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, review-copy, blog
Originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing.

A Golden Web by Barbara Quick is the story of Alessandra, a bright and inquisitive young girl living in a time period when intelligent women were frowned upon, feared and stifled. Her father is a stationer, which gives her access to books and she studies and reads all that she can get her hands on. After her step-mother (who hates her) forces her to remain in seclusion for a year, Alessandra knows it is time to make important d
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Novelist and poet Barbara Quick is the author of VIVALDI'S VIRGINS, published in July 2007 (quality paperback edition in 2008) by HarperCollins and sold for translation in 14 countries, as well as the YA historical title, A GOLDEN WEB, published by HarperTeen in 2010. More information at"
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“I never thought that history would become one of my life's passions. I never even liked history when I was at school, apart from the context of literature, music, and art. But history has lately been revealed to me as the place where I live, where we all live, side by invisible side with others who - if we get quiet enough and listen carefully enough - will touch us and tell us their stories.” 6 likes
“You've done her a service to teach her that romantic love is largely made of illusion." [said Mina.]
"Is it?" Alessandra asked, unable to suppress a worried sigh.
Mina looked at her as if she knew exactly what Alessandra was thinking. "I said 'romantic love,' my dear--not true love."
"But how can one know," asked Alessandra, "one from the other?"
"True love," said Mina, "is something that reveals itself only with the passage of time.”
More quotes…