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The official site of Mary Osborne, author of the Alchemy Series

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Mystic Fiction invites you to visit the mysterious world of alchemy and to discover the secrets hidden within Mary A. Osborne’s novels, Alchemy’s Daughter and Nonna’s Book of Mysteries.

Both Alchemy’s Daughter and Nonna’s Book of Mysteries are available for purchase at your favorite bookstore or online retailer.

Be sure to visit MaryAOsborne.com to learn more about Mary and to read her blog.

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Just released: Nonna's Book of Mysteries
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A painter, a dream, a book of magic passed from mother to daughter through the centuries.

At age fourteen, all Emilia Serafini wants is to learn to paint so that she can become an artist. But painters' apprenticeships for young women do not exist in the Florence of Renaissance Italy. The odds appear stacked against her until she receives a fascinating book, A Manual to the Science of Alchemy. It once was her grandmother's and Emilia turns again and again to the Manual for guidance.

Chicago Sun-Times 2010 Summer Reading Recommendation
Grand Prize Winner of the 2010 Paris Book Festival
San Francisco Book Festival Best Teen Book 2010


Mary A. Osborne’s novels are historical fiction, dusted with the magic of alchemy.  Books such as C.G. Jung’s Psychology and Alchemy gave her the idea for A Manual to the Science of Alchemy, a fictitious book from which excerpts appear in both Alchemy’s Daughter and Nonna’s Book of Mysteries.  Here at Mystic Fiction, you will find clues to the alchemist’s Great Secret, or the key to turning lead into gold.  As the heroines of Mary’s books utilize information from A Manual to the Science of Alchemy to create transformations in their lives, you too can follow the heroic journey of the alchemist.

In addition to the subject of alchemy, Mary’s novels were inspired by travels to Tuscany and the walled village of Certaldo—home of medieval author Giovanni Boccaccio—where Mary envisioned her young heroines slipping through the narrow, cobbled streets and ancient piazzas.

Set in medieval San Gimignano, Alchemy’s Daughter is the story of Santina Pietra, who apprentices to the village midwife, a suspected witch.  Nonna’s Book of Mysteries is set two hundred years later in Renaissance Florence.  This novel is the story of Emilia Serafini, whose quest to become a painter is guided by her grandmother’s legacy, A Manual to the Science of Alchemy.


Acclaim for Alchemy’s Daughter

Brimming with details of life in Italy during the plague of 1348, this well-researched story incorporates historical information about medieval alchemy, midwifery, and the conflict between science and superstition, providing a rich context and arresting contrast for Santina's thoroughly modern attitudes.
—Kirkus Reviews

Alchemy’s Daughter is a story with timeless appeal which speaks to young readers on many levels pertaining to the choices one must make when embarking upon the threshold of adulthood.
—Literary Classics International Book Awards & Reviews


Acclaim for Nonna’s Book of Mysteries

In Nonna’s Book of Mysteries, Emilia defies what is expected in order to create a life filled with happiness. Readers will enjoy a unique storyline, identify with Emilia’s personal struggles to become a good person, and be encouraged to step beyond expectations to pursue their own passions and happiness despite the odds.
—Alicia Sondhi, ForeWord Reviews


I loved Nonna’s Book of Mysteries! It’s a wonder of a book—exciting, mysterious, and wise. I’ll long remember the courageous and determined Emilia who learns about choices and the consequences of choices, about the importance of struggle and perseverance, about loyalty, friendship, and love, amid the splendors of Renaissance Florence. I can’t wait for another from Mary Osborne.
—Karen Cushman, Newberry Award winner, author of The Midwife’s Apprentice