Tuesday, April 07, 2009
THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE by Katherine Howe
I received an advanced copy of THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE through the Barnes and Noble First Look program. The story follows modern-day History PhD candidate Connie as she goes to clean out her grandmother's house in Marblehead, MASS and discovers the possible existance of a witch's shadow book. As Connie tracks down the shadow book and the history of it, the book makes several leaps back in time starting with 1690's to reveal the previous owners of the shadow book and how it affected their lives.
This book was a terrific read. Since Katherine Howe is an historian herself, the flashbacks are filled with rich historical detail. The reader feels as if they are actually there in 1690's Salem and beyond. Her characterizations are excellent as well where the women in the story are concerned. I loved the connection between the past and present throughout the book. My only complaints with the book were an unnecessary romantic storyline and a cliched villain. If the book had stuck to the stories of the women and Connie's quest for the past and her own self-actualization, the book would have been much more effective. To me, THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE was a PRACTICAL MAGIC meets PEOPLE OF THE BOOK story. This book will be released in June 2009.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. If you can get past the silliness of the romantic angle and villain, you will find a compelling story of the Salem witch trials and their effect on one group of women through time.