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The Scribe of Siena
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April 2019: History > The scribe of siena, 3.5? by Melodie Winnower

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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy | 8868 comments Cross posted with Horizons. Truth be told, it didn't quite fir y definition of History, but its are history than it is "not history." There is an actual event in this historical fiction time travel tale. Its the plague, black death, hitting Siena and Messina the hardest. There is art being commissioned, and one learns about medieval life, politics, business, and ways of interacting. so I suppose it fits more than it doesn't. But its not my first History entry, so I am ok with it.

3.5? New York Neurosurgeon has brother that dies in mysterious circumstances in Italy, researching the Plague of 1348. Raised by her brother, she goes to Italy to try to understand his mysterious research. Somehow, she becomes interested in its secrets and before you know it, she has traveled through time to 1347, where a love interest awaits. She becomes a scribe in Sienna, due to her learned skills. There is political intrigue, a love story, some good old fashioned time travel, and medieval art. I've never been a fan of time travel. Truth be told, I wanted to love it more.


Theresa | 7442 comments Winawer gave a talk a year ago about the historical research she did for writing this book...and it was extensive and in depth, but approached more as a scientist than a writer or historian. It is also her debut in writing fiction. I read the book after hearing her speak. In fact it is how I discovered the book. I do think that gave me a different mindset when I read it. I liked it a bit more than you did, although did think some sections floundered a bit as if she was having trouble connecting certain sections to each other.


message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy | 8868 comments You know I had a similar experience with Dara Horn. I just heard her speak about her book Eternal Life at an event with about 75 people. I just loved her! Everything about her. She is zany and life filled and so incredibly smart - insightful, erudite, piercingly at the heart of things and with humor and depth. Wow, is she a smart spit fire! I fell in love with her instantly.

That experience turned a 3.5 book into a stellar work for me. Changed everything! Funny how an author can do that.

On Goodreads I have met several authors. And in life. Hands down, this has enhanced the book every time!


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I was eyeing this book, Amy. I am intrigued but time travel is not something I am drawn to so much. But then again, I was never drawn to magical realism until that first book.:)


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