Friday, February 26, 2010

Review for A GOLDEN WEB by Barbara Quick

by Barbara Quick

To Be Published
April 6th 2010 by HarperTeen
Hardcover, 272 pages

Placement in Pile:

Eh... Middle of the Stack. If I'm being generous


Alessandra is desperate to escape—from her stepmother, who’s locked her away for a year; from the cloister that awaits her if she refuses the marriage plans that have been made for her; from the expectations that limit her and every other girl in fourteenth-century Italy. There’s no tolerance in her village for her keen intelligence and her 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, distinguished 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.


The premise of this book sounded intriguing to me, but the writing and execution fell flat for me. There were moments that were good, even a couple that were great, but there was so much summary and "then this much time passed and then they were here" orchestration going on, that I just didn't feel deeply attached to the characters. Whenever I started to get attached (especially at the end when her love interest FINALLY appears), the author didn't take advantage of it. She'd start to get me involved and caring, and then she'd do more summary or change POVs (which she did A LOT, sometimes within the same paragraph it seemed like). She'd spend too much time describing things that didn't need a page of attention, and rush through or just summarize scenes that had the potential to be truly moving/engrossing. Overall, this book was okay, and the history of it was very interesting. It was an easy read, but just not my favorite. I'm also big on endings (a GREAT ending can save a book for me), but this one was so abrupt. A GOLDEN WEB was an interesting premise and story, but was only a mediocre read. Which is unfortunate, because I think it had the potential to be great.


Aubrey (AKA Stacey) said...

Thanks for reviewing this one Guin, I still hope to read it myself at some point because the premise sounds so interesting.

For our readers be sure to come back Monday for a fun giveaway!

Jan von Harz said...

From your description of the changing point of view and the summarizing, I would definitely not enjoy this one. Both elements are distracting and aggravating.

Christina T said...

That's too bad. This looked like it would be such a fascinating story. Thank you for sharing your honest review.

I may have to pass on this one. There are other YA novels set during this time period that I'd probably like better, like The Smile, about the young women portrayed in The Mona Lisa.

I am visiting your blog from The Saturday Network.