Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Golden Web by Barbara Quick [Review]

2.5 out of 5 Robots!
Title: A Golden Web
Author: Barbara Quick
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Release: April 6, 2010
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN-10: 0061448877
ISBN-13: 978-0061448874
My Copy: Publisher
Reviewer: Rex

Book Blurb:
Alessandra is desperate to escape her stepmother; 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.
Quick Thoughts:
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 not know this story was based on the true life of Alessandra until after reading the author's note. I can honestly say I appreciate the novel much more after realizing it really was Alessandra's life and the events of Alessandra's life were somewhat out of the author's control. That being said, this book is well written and the characters were entertaining. 

My favorite aspect of Quick's writing is the dialogue. I loved it. The relationship between Alessandra and her siblings is what kept me going in the beginning. I also loved that I felt like I was learning a great deal about this era, but I didn't feel like I was in the middle of a history class. 

The story itself is quite fascinating after Alessandra begins her real adventure and I would recommend this story to those historical fiction junkies out there. Young girls should also grab this book! Hopefully it will inspire them to overcome any obstacle that stands in the way of their dreams.

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