The best book I've read this summer
OK, so it's probably no secret that I've been doing a lot of reading this summer. That's what most of my posts have been about! But this one should NOT be missed. If you love books like modern historical fiction, this book MUST find its way on to your nightstand.
The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer starts out in modern day, with neurosurgeon Beatirce Trovato corresponding with her brother, a historian living in Italy to study the history of the Plague. Soon, she learns that her beloved brother has died and left his Italian home and his research to her, so she travels to Siena to settle his affairs.
That's where things take an unusual turn -- to say the least.
As Beatrice delves deeper into her brother's research, she comes upon the personal journal of a 14th-century painter, Garbriele Accorsi. As she examines Accorsi's works, she sees the impossible: the image of her own face. How can that be?
Before she can answer that question for herself, that past and the present come crashing down upon one another, and suddenly she is transported back to the year 1347 in Siena, Italy -- just a few short months before the Plague is set to wipe out the population.
Soon, Beatrice befriends Gabriele Accorsi (yes, the very same whose journal she had been reading in the 21st century) and together they uncover a nefarious plot that, if successful, will change the course of history hundreds of years into the future.
Will they be able to stop the plan from being set into motion? Will Beatrice be able to get back home? How will she explain who she is and where she has come from?
The Scribe of Siena combines a compelling story, vibrantly crafted characters, and an evocative depiction of time and place so complete you'll swear you can smell the roasting meats and hear the hustle and bustle of the piazza nearby. A thoroughly satisfying read for anyone who loves a great story, being transported back to a different time and place, and who enjoys spending time with characters you will deeply miss once the last page has been turned.