Monday, March 29, 2010

A Golden Web by Barbara Quick

A Golden Web by Barbara Quick
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: April 6, 2010
Hardcover, 272 pages

My Review:
From the start A Golden Web is a very enchanting book.  I found myself liking Alessandra from the very beginning.  She is a smart girl in a culture where women are mainly there to marry and to tend house and have babies.  On top of all of these usual expectations, Alessandra is the oldest daughter and has a stepmother who is not overly fond of her.

Alessandra does the smart thing, she gets her brother to help teach her the ways of survival and how to be a boy.  With this knowledge she is able to sneak away from the convent and start a new life undercover.

The plot is wonderful and the build up is great.  The characters are amazing.  I really liked Alessandra and her brother.  But somehow as the book continues some things seemed to get lost to me.  I felt like things branched out a little too much and I just lost track of what was going on.

However, I did enjoy the book and look forward to more by Ms. Quick.  I just felt there was an effort to tie up too much in too little time.  But please don't take my word for it, try this book yourself.  You may find yourself loving it.  It has a strong heroine who knows what she wants, a time period I was not completely familiar with (so I found it fascinating) and strong supporting characters and a good plot to push it along.  Overall it's still a wonderful book.

Rating: 3.75/5.0

About the Book (from
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.

About the Author (from
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.

FTC Information: I received this book from Traveling ARC Tours for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.



Chèli said...

I sent you a virtual Easter basket, please check out my blog.

~The Book Pixie said...

Personally, I really loved this book and it is one of my favorites. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it; I'm afraid there haven't been a whole lot of reviews on this great book. Thanks fo posting.


Barbara Quick said...

Hi Crystal,

I'm glad you share my love of Alessandra Giliani, who provided such delightful company for me during the time I researched and wrote A GOLDEN WEB.

You might also enjoy my 2007 novel, VIVALDI'S VIRGINS (about another extraordinarily brave and bright young woman who grew up in an orphanage in 18th century Venice and became the favorite violinist of priest and composer Antonio Vivaldi).

Reading about your work as a marine biologist, I would be remiss not to recommend my first novel, NORTHERN EDGE, as well--the story of a group of marine biologists and naturalists working in a remote field camp in Arctic Alaska.

I've been doing a lot of author interviews, in the run-up to the publication of A GOLDEN WEB on April 6. Let me know if you would like to do one, too.

Happy reading--and warmest wishes!

Barbara Quick said...

Here's the story of the real girl behind the beautiful face on the cover of A GOLDEN WEB...

Lana said...

I often find myself drawn to plots of women working hard to overcome obstacles and become educated, and I really liked that aspect of this novel. Something in a similar vein (and also in a similar style, if I recall correctly) is Donna Woolfolk Cross' Pope Joan, which you may enjoy as well.

I enjoyed your review and have linked to it here

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