The Scribe of Siena: A Novel

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“Like Outlander with an Italian accent.” —Real Simple

“A detailed historical novel, a multifaceted mystery, and a moving tale of improbable love.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

A NEW YORK POST MUST-READ BOOK

Readers of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring…will be swept away by the spell of medieval Siena” (Library Journal, starred review) in this transporting love story and gripping historical mystery.

Accomplished neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato knows that her deep empathy for her patients is starting to impede her work. So when her beloved brother passes away, she welcomes the unexpected trip to the Tuscan city of Siena to resolve his estate, even as she wrestles with grief. But as she delves deeper into her brother’s affairs, she discovers intrigue she never imagined—a 700-year-old conspiracy to decimate the city.

As Beatrice explores the evidence further, she uncovers the journal and paintings of the fourteenth-century artist Gabriele Accorsi. But when she finds a startling image of her own face, she is suddenly transported to the year 1347. She awakens in a Siena unfamiliar to her, one that will soon be hit by the Plague.

Yet when Beatrice meets Accorsi, something unexpected happens: she falls in love—not only with Gabriele, but also with the beauty and cadence of medieval life. As the Plague and the ruthless hands behind its trajectory threaten not only her survival but also Siena’s very existence, Beatrice must decide in which century she belongs.

The Scribe of Siena is the captivating story of a brilliant woman’s passionate affair with a time and a place that captures her in an impossibly romantic and dangerous trap—testing the strength of fate and the bonds of love.
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About the author

Melodie Winawer is a physician-scientist and Associate Professor of Neurology at Columbia University. A graduate of Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University with degrees in biological psychology, medicine, and epidemiology, she has published forty-seven nonfiction articles and book chapters. She is fluent in Spanish and French, literate in Latin, and has a passable knowledge of Italian. Dr. Winawer lives with her spouse and their three young children in Brooklyn, New York. The Scribe of Siena is her first novel.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
May 16, 2017
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Pages
464
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ISBN
9781501152276
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Sagas
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  •  FEATURING AN EXCLUSIVE NEW CHAPTER

GoodReads Choice Awards Semifinalist 

"Moving . . . a plot that surprises and devastates."—New York Times Book Review

"A masterful epic."—People magazine

"Mesmerizing . . . The Women in the Castle stands tall among the literature that reveals new truths about one of history’s most tragic eras."—USA Today

Three women, haunted by the past and the secrets they hold

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.

 Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.

First Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naive Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resister’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.

As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.

Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship.

Would you risk everything for the man you loved? Even if you knew he’d done something terrible?

 

‘A heart-wrenching and gripping tale. I was hooked from the very first page.’ Write Escape 

Lara’s life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandro and the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can’t tell anyone else or everything he has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage. 

Maggie is married to Massimo’s brother Nico and lives with him and her troubled stepdaughter. She knows all of Nico’s darkest secrets – or so she thinks. Then one day she discovers a letter in the attic which reveals a shocking secret about Nico’s first wife. Will Maggie set the record straight or keep silent to protect those she loves? 

For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price. 

A USA Today bestseller – a heart-wrenching, emotionally gripping read for fans of Amanda Prowse, Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain. 

What everyone’s saying about The Silent Wife:

‘A compulsive read about secrets, lies, and the complexities of families.’ Bloomin’ Brilliant Books

‘What a great novel this is! A very moving story filled with deception, betrayal and, contrastingly, loyalty, love, caring and forgiveness... and it has a brilliant ending!’ Splashes Into Books

‘Well, this book is a firecracker!...you will experience a rollercoaster of emotions, with laughter, sadness and a satisfying ending that will bring a lump to your throat.’ Many Books Many Lives

‘A fantastic, thought-provoking story, told with pace and style.’ Laura Bambrey Books

‘My heart broke … The plot is so well written that you begin to feel as though you are one of the family and it is packed with twists and turns.’ The Reading Reverie

‘A page turner - full of implied secrets, unravelling family lives, new family dynamics.’ Bookworms and Shutterbugs

‘An addictive novel about family dynamics, secrets and betrayals that will have your mouth hanging open in disbelief many times along the way.’ Books of All Kinds

‘A compelling, chilling and heart pounding read which will take you on a rollercoaster ride you’ll never want to leave. Phenomenally written and undeniably powerful, Kerry Fisher has done it yet again.’ The Writing Garnet

‘My only regret about this book is beginning to read it at half term and not being able to finish it quicker. A gripping and emotional read.’ De Ja Reads

‘It is rare that a book will make you look at your own personality and inspire you to be a better person. A less judgmental person. A braver person. The Silent Wife did that for me – and in the most unexpected way … I gasped, laughed and cried.’ The Glass House Girls

‘I loved this book… I was riveted throughout. 5 stars.’ Emma B books

‘The Silent Wife had me engrossed from page one. Five Stars!’ Boon’s Bookcase

‘Another five star read from Kerry Fisher ... I love Kerry Fisher’s books and this was no exception!’ Strongly Review

‘A wonderful, poignant, heart breaking, heart warming story of families and secrets, of hidden strength and unexpected friendship. Brilliant! Very highly recommended. Cannot wait for Kerry’s next!’ Renita D’Silva

This book was previously titled The Secrets of Second Wives 

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A STARZ ORIGINAL SERIES 

Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages.

One of the top ten best-loved novels in America, as seen on PBS’s The Great American Read!

Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.

This eBook includes the full text of the novel plus the following additional content:
• An excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber, the second novel in the Outlander series 
• An interview with Diana Gabaldon 
• An Outlander reader’s guide

Praise for Outlander

“Marvelous and fantastic adventures, romance, sex . . . perfect escape reading.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“History comes deliciously alive on the page.”—New York Daily News
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