Barbara Quick A Golden Web

ISBN 13: 9780061448874

A Golden Web

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9780061448874: A Golden Web

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 unconventional ideas.

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 spies and scholars, Alessandra will find a love she could not foresee -- and an enduring fame.

In this exquisite imagining of the centuries-old story of Alessandra Giliani, the world's first female anatomist, acclaimed novelist Barbara Quick gives readers the drama, romance, and rich historical detail for which she is known as she shines a light on an unforgotten -- and unforgettable -- heroine.

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About the Author:

Writer and poet Barbara Quick is the author of the novels Vivaldi's Virgins and Northern Edge, winner of the Discover Prize. A Golden Web is her first book for teen readers. An avid traveler and student of other languages, she has run an international boardinghouse; written everything from self-help books to humor columns to grant requests for disadvantaged children; and done whatever jobs she needed to do -- from landscape gardening to catering to editing -- to allow her to continue writing. She lives with her teenage son, Julian, in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she takes frequent classes and occasionally performs with a Brazilian dance troupe.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6 Up—By age 12, Alessandra Giliani has learned that "half the trick of being a smart girl is learning how to hide it," for fear of being branded a witch. Set in 14th-century Italy, A Golden Web follows her as she ditches the trappings of her wealthy family and retires to a convent to avoid marriage at age 15. Alessandra has a love of science and finds herself "excited by things that no girl has the right or need to know." With the help of her older brother, she leaves the convent disguised as Sandro, a young medical student, and engages in the fledgling study of anatomy in Bologna. Sandro is quickly seen as a brilliant student, and she becomes a prosector. After overcoming her initial squeamishness, she devotes herself to dissection and the study of the human body, not only with the close observance of corpses, but also by reading the few available books and venturing into the midwives' district to learn from the "women healers" as well. Sandro's secret is threatened by a jealous student, and again when a study partner stirs romantic feelings, and the ending is not one of happily ever after. At times focused on historical detail, at others resembling a toned-down bodice ripper, this novel is a quick read for those who like romantic fiction.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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