Monday

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

This is the story of Connie Goodwin, a doctoral candidate in American History at Harvard, who (upon her mother’s request) spends the summer cleaning and clearing out her grandmother's house that has been vacant for 20 years in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Little did Connie know what she was in store for when she agreed to this tedious task.

While browsing through her grandmother’s old books, Connie stumbles upon a very old key in a bible. Attached to this key is an equally old slip of paper with the name, Deliverance Dane.

Told through flashbacks from Salem in the late 1690's we learn the story of Deliverance, a woman condemned as a witch in 1692, her daughter and eventually her granddaughter, as well as the history of the "Receipt Book" which is handed down from generation to generation.

As Connie tries to get the house back to rights in order to sell it for lack of payment of taxes, she is also working on her doctorate course and is persuaded by her adviser to find Deliverance's physick book otherwise known as a Shadow Book which might be the perfect topic for her doctorate - having found an unknown Salem witch.

I could not put this down! -- this is historical fiction at it's finest. It makes you want to know more about the time and immerses you wholly in it's world. The link in the story between contemporary times and the past is gripping as well as the commentary on religion and the Salem Witch Trials. I especially liked that Ms. Crouch uses so much detail when describing Salem in 1692. The houses, the way they talked, dressed, lived was all very detailed. She uses real names and events to depict Deliverance’s demise. She definitely did her research and it was neat to read that she was related to two of the named witches. I highly recommend this.

This book will be available in June, so make sure to make a note of it and put it on your TBR list so you don’t forget to pick up a copy. In my opinion, you will not be disappointed. I’m dying to see what the finished product will look like - since I only have an ARC. But the binding, with its flap covering the pages, beautiful artwork, and thick paper makes this book quite a treasure.

5 comments:

Beth F said...

OOOH, I'm so excited that you liked this. I have this lined up in my TBR to read soon.

Dar said...

Great review. I'm glad you liked it so much as I'll be reading it also.

Tasses said...

Got this one too, but haven't been able to get into it. Maybe I ought to try again....

bermudaonion said...

Sounds great - I can't wait to read it now.

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