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 don't 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. When Emilia meets the wealthy, brooding Franco Villani, her life takes a thrilling but dangerous turn. Franco will do anything to win a place in the court of the powerful Cosimo de' Medici. Well aware that Cosimo prizes ancient manuscripts above all, Franco realizes Emilia's Manual would be invaluable to him in more ways than one. Infused with the mysticism of alchemy, Nonna's Book of Mysteries is an exciting portrait of a young woman who defies convention to seek her destiny.