Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Golden Web

Author: Barbara Quick
Publication Date: April 6, 2010
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Copy provided by: Traveling ARC Tours
Summary (via Goodreads):

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.

Why I read this: I'm a big fan of historical fiction - especially the adventure of a girl having to disguise herself as a boy to be apart of what they want in life. This is also Barbara's first young adult novel - she's written for adults only before - and you know much I love reading debut novels!

Plot: Alessandra decides that she will try her best to get out of her marriage and plots a way to get to the city so she can study the human body and become a scholar. To do so, she must disguise herself as a boy. There, she meets a young man she cannot help but fall in love with and he too is falling in love with her. But, if she reveals herself, will he still love her, or is he in love with the boy she is pretending to be?

I thought that by the end of the book, the plot was neatly wrapped up. It wasn't the way I would want a lot of books to end, but it worked for the novel.

Characters: I loved the main characters. I think the mean and jealous character could have been fleshed out a bit more and I was hoping for more conflict between him and Alessandra, but the plot moved a different way than I was anticipating. I felt like you really come to understand Alessandra throughout the book. Nothing is horrible in her life, but she wants more from it than just having a good marriage. She has the strength to seek that out even though she is leaving the comforts she has known for years. I felt like she could have had more flaws though - it felt like she adapted to fast at times and was too perfect a character.

Relatability: I've read quite a range of historical fiction and I always loved that girl who would break free and set out into the world to set her own destiny. I can definitely relate this to some of my other favorite books.
Cover commentary: Very lovely and I can definitely see the main character looking similar to the girl on the cover.

Rating: 4/5 Roses

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*If you buy this book on Amazon through the link above, I will receive a small portion of the sales.


  1. I'm a sucker for books like this! Adding it to my TBR list!

  2. Sounds similar to an Eva Ibbotson novel. Nice review!

  3. Looks like a great story, and thanks for the review. I'll definitively check this book out.

  4. I am not a historian reader but this looks good.

  5. Slightly different from the usual historical fiction I think. This looks intriguing. Thanks for highlighting.

  6. Thank you for all those beautiful roses, Kristen! I loved your review of my novel.

    I have an amazing tale to tell about the young woman who is the face of Alessandra Giliani on the cover of the novel. I'll be posting it on my blog next week...


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