The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O'Melveny
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Set the in late 16th century, our protagonist and female doctor Gabriella goes of in search of her errant father. She travels with two longtime servants across Europe and northern Africa. Then NOTHING HAPPENS.
Danger and suspicion of women are hinted at, but are never really close enough to threaten. The prose is so even-tempered, that even when the good Dottor almost drowns in a lake, I didn't realize it until they found her dead horse, who did drown.
The most interesting part of this book was the descriptions of some incredible diseases (mostly mental or emotional in nature) and their cures that were described. Imagine contracting "Porphyria: An Abborrhence of Light that Causes One to Suffer Cankers and Grow the Fur of a Beast"...no known cure.
These little gems were bright spots in an otherwise melancholy and tepid read.
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