Anticipation: A Novel (Paperback)
From the author of the “engrossing historical epic” (Booklist) The Scribe of Siena comes a thrilling tale set in the crumbling city of Mystras, Greece, in which a scientist’s vacation with her young son quickly turns into a fight for their lives after they cross paths with a man out of time.
After the death of her beloved husband and becoming a single parent to her nine-year-old son Alexander, overworked scientist Helen desperately needs an escape. So when Alexander proposes a trip to Greece—somewhere he's always dreamed of visiting—Helen quickly agrees.
After spending several days exploring the tourist-filled streets, they stumble upon the ancient city of Mystras and are instantly drawn to it. Its only resident is Elias, a mysterious tour guide living on the city’s edges…both physically and temporally.
In 1237, Elias’s mother promised his eternal service to the Profitis Ilias in Mystras in exchange for surviving a terrible illness. But during his 800 years of labor, he’s had one common enemy: the noble Lusignan family. The Lusignan line is cursed by a deadly disease that worsens with each generation, and a prophecy hints that Elias’s blood is their only hope for a cure. He has managed to survive throughout the centuries, but the line has dwindled down to the last Lusignan and he is desperate to avert his family’s destiny.
When Elias runs into Helen, he meets his match for the first time—but he unwittingly puts both her and her young son in danger as a result. With time running out and an enemy after them, Elias and Helen are forced to choose between the city they love, and each other.
Blending the historical romance of Diana Gabaldon, the rich detail of Philippa Gregory’s novels, and Dan Brown’s fast-paced suspense, Anticipation is a thrilling and satisfying read like no other.
About the Author
Melodie Winawer is the author of The Scribe of Siena, which has been translated into German, Czech, Polish, and Norwegian to critical acclaim. She is also the author of the forthcoming Anticipation. A physician-scientist and associate professor of neurology at Columbia University, Melodie has published over fifty articles and contributed to several anthologies. To find the energy to write, she relies on unflagging enthusiasm and green tea. Melodie lives with her spouse and their three children in both Brooklyn, New York and Ludlow, Vermont.
"Winawer (The Scribe of Siena) enthralls with this unique combination of history, romance, and the supernatural...Winawer draws on her experience as a scientist to make the research aspects of the plot feel real, while expertly switching between the present day and the various time periods of Elias’s lives. Readers will be riveted from the first page."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A sweeping saga spanning multiple centuries, Anticipation enthralled me with its scope. Yet Winawer’s gift as a writer also shines brightly in the small moments, like the shared joy between a mother and a child, or the meditations on loss of a grieving widow. Truly magical."—Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue
“An epic historical novel that combines science, romance, and suspense.”—BuzzFeed
"Melodie Winawer’s Anticipation is a compelling novel that weaves fantasy, philosophy, science, medicine, romance, and madness into a tapestry of intrigue and mystery. And, fittingly for a physician, Winawer ultimately writes a story of healing and hope. I loved every word and did not want it to end."—Robin Oliveira, bestselling author of My Name is Mary Sutter and Winter Sisters
"Melodie Winawer’s Anticipation is the perfect mix of an original setting, an emotional journey, and a deep, immersive dive into the past. The ruined city of Mystras—once an important Byzantine capital—is as much a character as Helen and Elias in this epic tale. I rushed to this book after dinner each evening to experience the sweeping chain of events unfolding across centuries of love, loss, tragedy, and triumph. A truly original story that—much like its characters—will stand the test of time."—Laura Morelli, USA Today bestselling author of The Night Portrait
"An ambitious and beautifully written saga of science, history, and romantic mysticism spanning eight centuries, Melodie Winawer’s Anticipation resurrects the Byzantine city of Mystras in a sweeping manner reminiscent of Elizabeth Kostova’s The Shadow Land. Prepare to be transported.”—Kris Waldherr, author of The Lost History of Dreams and Doomed Queens
"From the first page to the last, I was captured by this suspenseful story of centuries of turmoil, underscored by love and loss. This is a truly original novel that weaves together fascinating medical research with stories from Greece's past, creating a historical thriller that stands above the usual fare."—Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Blue
"Winawer's knack for bringing distant worlds to life is evident in her latest novel. Anticipation is a rich tapestry, meticulously researched, and woven with the threads of a sweeping romance, a wild ride through history, and a fascinating medical mystery, all set against the backdrop of an ancient Byzantine city. Settle in for a luxurious read!"—Crystal King, author of The Chef's Secret and The Feast of Sorrow
"This wise, many-layered novel made me fall in love with Greece all over again. On the one hand, this is a pacy thriller, a historical tale of pursuit and murder across the centuries. On another level, [it's] thought-provoking...I found myself re-considering my views on medical ethics, reincarnation, and military occupation. Before reading Anticipation I knew nothing of Mystras or its history but am now inspired to learn more! I highly recommend this novel."—Jean Gill, author of The World Beyond the Walls and Song at Dawn