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Monday, June 8, 2009

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

The Physick Book of Deliverance DanePublisher:Voice
ISBN: 1615547592
Pages: 384 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Summary from Publisher:

A spellbinding, beautifully written novel that moves between contemporary times and one of the most fascinating and disturbing periods in American history-the Salem witch trials.

Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie's grandmother's abandoned home near Salem, she can't refuse. As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key within a seventeenth-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest--to find out who this woman was and to unearth a rare artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge.

As the pieces of Deliverance's harrowing story begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials, and she begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem's dark past then she could have ever imagined.

Written with astonishing conviction and grace, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane travels seamlessly between the witch trials of the 1690s and a modern woman's story of mystery, intrigue, and revelation.

My Review:

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane is a good book. Not great. I liked it. It would be great for a hot summer day on the beach.It will grab your attention and keep it.

I really enjoyed this book. The most enjoyable part was the writing. It was so engaing and really got the reader involved in the story. I also really liked Connie. She is an academic which is something I can really identify with. She was overall a very nice character to follow and she was likeable enough.

The beginning of the book was really great. The portrayal of the academic process was really amazing. As an academic, it really resonated with me. Some of it may be Howe trying to show that both her and Connie are reliable narrators of the history of the Salem witch trials I loved watching Connie go through that process. I hope someday I have the courage to do that myself. The search for the book was also engrossing and interesting. Especially because of all of the scenes in the library. My favorite place in the whole wide world. The relationship between Connie and Sam was one of my favorite parts of the book. It added a nice bit of romance to the plot.

The one thing that really turned me off with this book was the supernatural element. I am not opposed to it completely but it came about with no warning at all and way too far into the book. It seemed like an afterthought.  I think it also took the focus away from Connie’s story and placed it directly on the magic. I think this took a little bit away from the book as a whole because, for me at least, the story would have been more engaging if it had been solely about Connie and her family history.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  1. [...] Life-Victoria Moran 23.Scranton’s Mayors-David J. Wenzel 24.A Worthy Legacy-Tomi Akinyanmi 25.The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane-Katherine Howe 26.The Unit-Ninni Holmqvist 27.The Lie-Fredrica Wagman 28. A Gentle Rain-Deborah [...]

  2. I reviewed this book today on Tea Leaves - our reviews are so different! I really enjoyed reading yous - I always love reading another's experiences of books.

  3. I found this book as enjoyable , though not believable read, which was fine with me. I enjoyed the look back at Salem witches as well as the modern story of Connie, even though it was a little contrived.



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