A Golden Web by Barbara Quick 5 of 5 stars.
To be released April 2010.
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.
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.
A Golden Web sat unread for over a month as I read books I thought would be more exciting, saving this until last. By the second chapter I realized how horribly wrong I was. The story of Alessandra Giliani is historical fiction at its best, a beautifully and thoroughly structured book that is vivid and full. Nothing lacks from the descriptions of the setting and the time--though not over done, I assure you--to the characters themselves that live and breathe and speak through the pages. I was surprised to find that Alessandra is not believed to have lived and done the things this book says she did. She is more like a legend, really. There is no hardcore proof that she ever existed. You would never suspect this reading how wonderfully and elaborately Barbara Quick was able to weave the story of her life.
The story ties humor, romance, tragedy, and the unfairness of the 14th century to create an unforgettable story. A new favorite.
For fans of: Barbara Quick, Staton Rabin, The Sacrifice