Alchemy's Daughter.

Author:McCorquodale, Pallas Gates
Position:Book review - Young adult review

Mary A. Osborne; ALCHEMY'S DAUGHTER; Lake Street Press (Children's: Young Adult Fiction) 16.95 ISBN: 9781936181179

Byline: Pallas Gates McCorquodale

In Santina, Osborne has crafted a complex character with greater depth than typically found in YA fare.

Lessons in Greek and philosophy are the highlight of seventeen-year-old Santina Pietra's week, but when a shared passion for alchemy and learning evolves into passion of a different sort, Santina's tutor, the dreamy scholar Calandrino, chooses to leave San Gimignano to pursue his interest in the discovery and translation of ancient alchemical texts. Heartbroken but determined to follow her own path, Santina attempts to avoid an arranged marriage by joining the enigmatic village midwife, Trotula, in her cottage on the outskirts of the village.

Santina's story rings true for the time period and is replete with language and customs typical of 14th-century Italy. A time line of historical events accords a greater sense of what is happening in the political, literary, medical, and scientific worlds. The formal language used in Santina's correspondences, coupled with the natural integration of religion, creates a believable time and place where a girl like Santina might come of age.

In Santina, multiple-award winner Mary A. Osborne has crafted a fully complex character, impulsive and enthusiastic on the surface, but with greater depth than...

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