Monday, July 20, 2015

ALCHEMY'S DAUGHTER Blog Tour Review & Giveaway

Book Description:

In medieval San Gimignano, Italy, daughters of merchants are expected to marry. But Santina Pietra cares only for Calandrino, a brilliant young scholar who is preoccupied with his ancient alchemical texts.

Soon Santina meets Trotula, the village midwife, who might or might not be a "strega," a witch. Trotula challenges her to forget Calandrino and become the woman she is meant to be. Some say she is a victim of the midwife’s spell, but Santina is determined to follow in Trotula’s footsteps even as calamities strike.

Author's Bio:

Mary A. Osborne is the multiple award-winning author of Alchemy's Daughter and Nonna’s Book of Mysteries. A graduate of Rush University and Knox College, where she was mentored in the Creative Writing Program, Ms. Osborne is a registered nurse and holds degrees in chemistry and nursing. Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as Hektoen International, Newcity, and the Ms. Osborne lives in Chicago.
Connect with Mary: Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter

A guest post by Mary A. Osborne for Teresa:  T’s Stuff

Alchemy’s Daughter: a book for historical fiction fans and also for girls who kick ass

Alchemy’s Daughter might be classified as historical fiction, but please don’t be put off if you are not a fan of the genre. It’s true that the book is set in 14th century Italy during the time of the plague, but Santina is sure to remind you of someone you know—maybe of your younger self if you’re over thirty, of yourself if you’re a teen, or maybe of a close friend. She is the girl who feels pressured to do what her family and society expect of her, but she is drawn in a very different direction.

Santina wants to be a midwife at a time when young women of the merchant class are expected to marry. Although not all young women feel compelled to marry these days, many feel unsupported as they set about achieving goals that others view as impractical or inappropriate. Santina might be from another time period, but she is like today’s college graduate who aspires to a career rather than marriage and motherhood.

Although Santina is a creation of my imagination, real-life, ambitious young women inspired her story. Her challenging journey is faintly reminiscent of my own path to becoming a writer. I am an RN by training, but I always wanted to be an author. Some family members questioned my decision to give up a full-time nursing career in favor of part-time work so that I could pursue a pipe dream. I was giving up good money, and I had a son to raise and support—just who did I think I was, working only part-time and indulging in some fantasy of becoming a published author? While many saw my dream of becoming a writer as impractical or even irresponsible, I stuck with it. Nearly two decades later, I have two award-winning novels to show for it.

If you have a dream of your own, however impractical it may seem to others, I hope you nurture it, protect it, and work hard to bring it to life.  You might have to ignore the naysayers as Santina did and as I did.  But there is only one thing worse than failing to reach your dream in life, and that is never even trying to get there.

My review:

Alchemy's Daughter takes place in 14th century San Gimignano, Italy. Santina Pietra is the 17 year old daughter of Iacopo Pietra a merchant. 
During the times of this story, girls were expected to marry and have families. They were not supposed to have dreams. Santina is in love with Calandrino, and when he leaves her life she decides she will not marry and will have dreams. While she is still grieving for the loss of her love she decides to go to Trotula, the villages midwife and possibly a witch. Trotula begins teaching Santina to be her apprentice. 
Nothing seems to be easy inn Santina's life, when she feels she is finally settled trouble abounds anew. This books will take you the through ups and many downs of Santina's life. 
There are maps in this book, a timeline of medieval historical events, Glossary of Italian words, and a bibliography. Mary Osbourne has done a great job of gathering actual history, not only of Italy but of the beginning of medicine. 
This is a 2nd book, the first book being Nonna's Book of Mysteries, I have not read that book, but I have learned that Alchemy's Daughter is the prequel to it. I will be finding and reading Nonna's Book of Mysteries.
Alchemy's Daughter is Winner of Literary Classics 2014 Award. It is recommended ages 14 to Adult

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