Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

4 stars
PG-13 (adult themes, intense scenes)
Contemporary, historical

Connie Goodwin, a Harvard student up for Professorship, has to clean up her grandmothers house to sell before the IRS takes it away (her mother hasn't paid taxes on it in over 20 years). While there she discovers an old Bible and a key that gives her the name, Deliverance Dane. Connie, needing a primary source for her doctrinal studies, decides to chase down who Deliverance Dane was.

This story also jumps back in time to the 1600s and the time of the Salem Witch Trials and explores the theory of why there was a mass hysteria toward witchcraft in Salem that year (1692?) and asks the question: What if some of the women really were witches? Eventually the two story lines come together in a surprise that will shake Connie's world.

I have always been interested in the Salem Witch Trials, so this was a very fun, interesting read. The author is actually descendant of two women who were accused of being witches--one who got off and one who was hanged. I also enjoy Ms. Howe's writing style. Once she describes a corner as having a skein of webbing. I loved that and the book is filled with little visual gems.

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