The Book of Madness and Cures

The Book of Madness and Cures

A Novel

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Dr. Gabriella Mondini, a strong-willed, young Venetian woman, has followed her father in the path of medicine. She possesses a singleminded passion for the art of physick, even though, in 1590, the male-dominated establishment is reluctant to accept a woman doctor. So when her father disappears on a mysterious journey, Gabriella's own status in the Venetian medical society is threatened. Her father has left clues--beautiful, thoughtful, sometimes torrid, and often enigmatic letters from his travels as he researches his vast encyclopedia, The Book of Diseases .

After ten years of missing his kindness, insight, and guidance, Gabriella decides to set off on a quest to find him--a daunting journey that will take her through great university cities, centers of medicine, and remote villages across Europe. Despite setbacks, wary strangers, and the menaces of the road, the young doctor bravely follows the clues to her lost father, all while taking notes on maladies and treating the ill to supplement her own work.

Gorgeous and brilliantly written, and filled with details about science, medicine, food, and madness, THE BOOK OF MADNESS AND CURES is an unforgettable debut.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., c2012.
ISBN: 9780316195836
Characteristics: viii, 320 p. :,maps ;,25 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jul 19, 2017

I was really excited about the premise and setting of this book, but I was left wanting more. It was a good story but just not well supported with the details I was waiting for. Maybe this historical fiction was lacking the research needed to bring it to life, I couldn't picture the places she travelled and I didn't care much what happened to the characters, removing emotion from events that should have been emotional. I also didn't like the way the servants were characterized. It was overly simplistic, which was unfortunate as they were a big part of the story. At the end of the day, I still enjoyed the book. But it was disappointing because I feel it had so much more potential.

carrilis Dec 27, 2012

This took a while to read, but was very well written. The characters are well developed and although it may not be historically correct in all aspects (it is fiction) the feel of the 1500's is woven into the story quite well.

May 30, 2012

This story of a woman doctor in Renaissance Europe who travels to the east to find her missing father, also a doctor, is an interesting story that may be historical fiction but is more fiction than I like. So many unbelievable aspects about women in that time period just ring false. Very disappointing.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top