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A Golden Web
Barbara Quick
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A Golden Web

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  638 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
Quick delivers a moving, romantic, historical novel set in 14th-century Italy and based on the life of the first female anatomist.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Harper Teen (first published January 1st 2000)
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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
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
Alvi Harahap
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Heidi Turnquist
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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,
Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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 (ReadsInTrees) Dacyczyn
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
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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
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.
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.
Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
A Golden Web adalah sebuah historical fiction yang bercerita tentang Alessandra Gilliani. Alessandra kecil sudah terlihat jenius sejak bayi. Ketika beranjak dewasa, dia suka sekali membaca buku dan mencari tahu tentang alam sekitarnya. Beruntung baginya, ayahnya, Carlo Gilliani adalah pemilik percetakan yang menduplikasi buku-buku dari para penulis ternama. Di antara buku-buku itu adalah buku-buku tentang kedokteran.

Alessandra sangat tertarik dengan ilmu kedokteran. Salah satu hal yang mendorong
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A promising story meant for teen readers that reads like the mere plotline sketch for a real novel. the bare bones of an interesting story.
Nov 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who says that all Italian women of the 1400’s accepted their fate without question? Why should they accept that the sciences were privy only to men? One woman, Alessandra Gilliani of Persiceto dared to differ and follow her dream. No one could suppress this young girl's quest for knowledge.
A Golden Web, by Barbara Quick, is a story of hope and inspiration to women of all times. Alessandra, still in her teens dreamt to learn grander things. She wanted to study medicine in the great University of
Euisry Noor
Cukup menarik. Berkisah tentang seorang ahli anatomi perempuan pertama bernama Alessandra Giliani, bersetting di Italia pada abad 14-an. Bisa dibayangkan bahwa pada masa itu kaum perempuan masih sangat dibatasi oleh norma-norma umum dan dianggap rendah, yang kapasitasnya hanya sampai pada pekerjaan rumah tangga atau menjadi biarawati. Kaum perempuan pada masa itu juga rentan dicurigai sebagai penyihir yang nasibnya berakhir di tiang pembakaran. Hidup di lingkungan demikian, Alessandra tumbuh di ...more
Nikolae Keaveney
I was not expecting to be blown away by this underrated little gem of a book. It captured my heart quite easily, despite its numerous flaws. I'm still in a state of stunned silence, savoring the last flavours this book delivered and not wanting to let the story go. Why must all good books be so short? I wish that "A Golden Web" could be a trilogy, with 400 pages for each book. But sadly, it is only a thin book of 250 pages.
If you know me, you know that I almost never give out 5 stars. I loved it
This is the story of Alessandra Giliani, who studied anatomy in the 1300s when women weren't permitted in colleges and discovered rudimentary facts about the circulatory system that later anatomists would build on. She was pretty cool, and unfortunately little is known of her since she died very young and a detailed history isn't recorded about her.
Laurie Treacy
Apr 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
The wonderful thing about reading is discovery: being taken to other worlds, meeting different types of people or beings, learning about various situations. What I really love about reading is being surprised and I find that this special element doesn't happen as often as I would hope it would. A GOLDEN WEB is a novel which not only surprised me, it took me to another time and place and totally engrossed me in the story.

Alessandra Giliani is no ordinary young girl. She is intelligent and her que
Why I read this: I'm a big fan of historical fiction - especially the adventure of a girl having to disguise herself as a boy to be apart of what they want in life. This is also Barbara's first young adult novel - she's written for adults only before - and you know much I love reading debut novels!

Plot: Alessandra decides that she will try her best to get out of her marriage and plots a way to get to the city so she can study the human body and become a scholar. To do so, she must disguise herse
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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.”
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