June 3, 2009

Review of: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

Author: Katherine Howe
ISBN: 9781401340902
Pages: 371
Published by: Hyperion Voice (June 2009)
Genre(s): Fiction, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Grade: A
Challenge(s): 100+ Reading Challenge - Read 'n Review '09 - Spring Reading Thing 2009 - 2009 Pub Challenge

Please note: All quotes and page numbers come from the ARC and there fore may vary from the completed, finished version. I waited until the last minute to try to verify them with the publisher and was unable to verify them so close to the date I promised my review would be up.

Part love story, part mystery, part historical fiction... I loved (!!!) The Physick book of Deliverance Dane by new author Katherine Howe.

The Physick book of Deliverance Dane follows graduate student Connie Goodwin and her dog Arlo in the 1990's, Deliverance Dane and a few of her descendants. In the 1690's Deliverance is accused of being a witch.

While Connie is attempting to clean out her deceased grandmother's home in Marblehead Massachusetts she finds a key hidden in an old Bible belonging to the family. It isn't just a plain, old key though.
It was a key. Antique, about three inches long, with an ornate handle and hollow shaft, probably designed for a door or a substantial chest. She turned the key over in the soft light from the lamp, wondering why it had been hidden in the Bible. It seemed too bulky for a bookmark. As she warmed the small metal object in her hands, puzzling about what it could mean, she noticed the tiniest shred of paper protruding from the end of the hollow shaft.
After finding the key with the slip of paper inside (a slip of paper containing nothing except the words "Deliverance Dane") Connie begins investigating what her advisor thinks maybe the name of a person. Connie comes across not a few obstacles on her journey, including meeting Sam the architectural preservationist she can't stop thinking about. Sam becomes more help than hindrance though.

I'd like to share with you one bit from The Physick book of Deliverance Dane that really struck a chord with me:
"Yeah, but it speaks to how alienated we all are from history," Connie grumbled, blue eyes darkening. "For generations the witch trials were such an embarrassment that no one would discuss them. A proper history of them wasn't even written until the end of the nineteenth century. Now look at it -- it's a carnival."
Connie looked around at the relaxed people milling about the esplanade, gazing into the windows of costume shops and card readers. She tried to imagine other violent, oppressive periods of history that had similarly been transformed into a source of amusment and tourism but could not think of any. Did Spain have Inquisition wax museums, showing effigies of people broken on the rack?

This one is going on my "Keeper" shelf and I hope to have the money to buy the finished book once it comes out June 9th!

Buy The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe:
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