Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

April 29th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


I was able to review this book thanks to Barnes and Nobles First Look program.

Seems like I’ve had a string of good books lately and I give this one a 3.5-4 stars.

Description:  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.

This book really caught my attention while reading when it started to look at the Salem witch trials from the view point of women who could actually be considered witches.  The other books I have read on this topic have all been told from the point of view of women who were innocent of the charges of witch craft and yet were still persecuted.  The story line was great although I found Connie to be a bit slow in putting together pieces of the puzzle that seemed obvious early on.  So I found myself saying it’s about time you figured that out.

There also is a little romance for those that enjoy that although I did not really feel the chemistry between Connie and the man she meets.  Maybe that was just me.  Despite these little things this was a nice departure from your typical Salem witch trial books.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction

7 Responses

  1. Carrie K.

    My best friend has this one – I’ll be borrowing it from her soon! Great review.

  2. dsuzuki

    Hope you enjoy it! I think the best part I loved was the cover. It had this nice flap to use as a book mark :)

  3. Teddy

    Great review Debbie! It is the Salem witch trial theme that made me request an ARC of this book. I hope I can get to it soon.

  4. elfenwolf

    That’s cool! I haven’t read a book like that for a while :) I should probably read it though cause it sounds awesome!

  5. dsuzuki

    I believe it’s due out in June. I hope you enjoy it.

  6. gwendolyn b.

    I thought this book was complex and interesting, but definitely flawed. I didn’t feel I’d wasted my time though.

  7. dsuzuki

    Gwendolyn, what did you think was flawed? I mainly didn’t like the main character much or the romance and seemed like a lot of set up and then the end was rushed.

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