The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O’Melveny
Gabriella Mondini is not the typical 16th century Venetian. She is following in her father’s footsteps, and has become a doctor, well regarded by her patients yet a concern for the practicing male doctors in the area. Her father went off quite a few years ago to find more materials for his book regarding madness and cures and his correspondence has gotten more and more sporadic and disturbing. Gabriella decides to not just adopt her father’s profession, but to literally follow in his footsteps by beginning a journey across Europe and into Africa to find the man she loves and admires more than any other. For without his patronage she can no longer practice medicine in Venice.
This is a harrowing journey tale. The land, the people and the disease which meet Gabriella and her two devoted servants in each city and country they traverse come to life through the author’s words. This book reminded me of the quest novels of the fantasy genre the world was so foreign and new. An atmospheric tale that truly transports you back in time.