Advance reader reviews of The Scribe of Siena

The Scribe of Siena

by Melodie Winawer

The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer X
The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer

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for The Scribe of Siena
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  • Michelle S. (Minneapolis, MN)


    Enjoyable historical fiction
    A great book and one of the best I have read in a while, I was hooked from the first page. I love historical novels especially the medieval era specifically in Sienna which was all new to me. This novel is definitely a must-read.
  • Alyce T. (San Antonio, TX)


    The Scribe of Siena
    Dr. Melodie Winawer can add accomplished author to her impressive list of degrees and achievements. Melodie has displayed a knack for putting the reader into the thick of the plot. We were carried along from the 21st Century to the 14th century effortlessly as the love story of Beatrice and Gabriele developed. The research of Italian history and language added to our enjoyment.

    Hopefully Winawer will follow up with another novel.
  • Becky H. (Chicago, IL)


    The Scribe of Siena
    A 20th century neurosurgeon is transported to Siena, Italy, in 1346 AD where she becomes a scribe and falls in love. That is the short story of this vastly absorbing and intriguing novel.

    The characters are fully developed, especially Beatrice, Gabriele, Clara and Accorsi. The plot is constantly offering a new twist even as the threat of the Bubonic Plague approaches. The flavor of medieval Italy is beguiling, however some of the more "indelicate" and primitive aspects of life are glossed over. The patterns of daily life in and around a bustling market and monastery are clearly set forth. The talents needed of a scribe in a society where most had little or no education are delineated.

    I don't think I would make Beatrice's choices, but the book is a winner. 5 of 5 stars
  • Nancy, California


    Delightful Historical Fiction Set in Tuscany
    I am delighted to review "The Scribe of Siena". Author Melodie Winawer introduced me to a subject of which I knew nothing, the plague in 1300 Italy. She used time travel so effectively to accomplish this, that I overcame my dislike of this method. Also, it is so very apparent that she deeply researched the Italy of current and fourteenth century times, the Italian language, and fresco painting.
    I eagerly await Melodie Winawer's next book!
  • Sara P. (Longview, WA)


    The Scribe of Siena
    It is difficult to write a good story about a historical period using time travel, but this author does it well. Beatrice is a neurosurgeon, and has been orphaned twice so she has no family in the 21st century. She travels to Siena because her brother died there while doing academic research on the Plague. There is mystery, romance and a deep desire to find home and thus her true self. It draws the reader in to care, not only about Beatrice, but about the fate of the people of Siena.
  • Tilli F. (Holyoke, MA)


    A romp through the 14th Century
    when I first started this wonderful book I wasn't sure i would like it. But I was soon hooked. The main character, Beatrice, is memorable. The love interest is faintly drawn so that the strength stays with Beatrice throughout. The idea of skipping between centuries at first is startling but soon it appears normal, or even desirable. The other characters are also richly drawn, and the touches of history are explanatory and grounding. In the end I couldn't put it down and hurried to the end to find out where it ended. The fact that the author has medical background only adds to her perspective. All in all a delicious trip to fourteenth century Italy. Highly recommended.
  • Rita I. (Saddle River, NJ)


    The Scribe of Siena
    This is a beautifully written book and one of the best I've read in a long time. I was hooked from the first page. It takes you on a journey with its main character, Beatrice Trovato, from the operating room in NYC, to modern day Siena, to medieval Siena, all in search of a secret that her scholarly brother was about to unmask before his untimely death. I felt like I was at her side all along the way, smelling the things she smelled, tasting the food, feeling the bitter cold and sensing the warm bath filled with rosemary and verbena. The characters in each time period that she comes across made it hard to decide which time I'd rather stay in. The villains she encounters made me so nervous at times that I was afraid for her. It was interesting to view medieval times through the eyes of a modern day woman and the things she had to do to fit in. Since it is an historical novel, you learn things about the Black Plague, artists of the time period, and the famous buildings of Siena among other things. It's a book that will make you sad when it's finished.
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