Wednesday, June 24, 2009

35. THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE - Katherine Howe


As I adore asking the question, "What if?" this book was a wonderful treat. What if one of those accused during the Salem Witch trials was, in fact, a witch? I use the term loosely because, as in the novel, there is the current fads of reiki healing, energy work, and aura readings that account for helpful modern "physicks."

This debut novel explores the possibility of a true physick/magic-healer named Deliverance Dane. As 1990s student, Connie Goodwin, a doctoral student of colonial history at Harvard, begins to empty out her grandmother's New England home, she finds clues that lead her on an academic adventure. Her mother, a "healer" who moved to be near energy centers in the southwest United States, makes Connie roll her eyes in frustration. Therefore, the deeper Connie is involved in the mystery, the more she must give up her preconceived notions.

Fascinating premise; however, the book is best for light summer reading due to a sub-plot about a crazed professor and the forced romance between Connie and a local. Still, it held my interest enough to keep me reading late into the night.

3.0 out of 5.0 Salem Witches.

6 comments:

Diane said...

Excellent review. I love reading books about the Salem witch trials.

Kristin Dodge said...

I liked the "what if" element because the book addresses the other possibilities, as well (the accusing girls ate moldy bread, etc.). This just came out, but it seems to be getting a lot of attention.

Liz said...

I've not heard of this but it sounds interesting. However, I'm wondering if it's got too much of the recent paranormal in it, the emphasis on which has pretty much put me off Nora Roberts for the time being. (Few too much good/evil, other-worldly stuff going on these days, for me at least.) It almost sounds like it's fluff (and believe me, I like fluff as much as the next person!) in a "literary" historical setting. I'm wondering how it meshes together.

I've gone back in time, too, with a recent read, but not as far back as the Salem Witch Trials. I've only gone to 1879 Nevada, and a mining town that's the new home of a former East Coast shopkeeper turned Wild West gunslinger. "The Shopkeeper is a Steve Dancy story (there's another one, too). It's a fun read, with a page-turning plot and lots of action, plus some romance. It's not just a "Western," it's good historical fiction. Next up for me: the latest John Sandford.

Liz said...

I was just thinking ... you have "books for breakfast/drinks for dinner."

Maybe someone has already done this, but someone (not me! I don't have a blog!) should have a reading challenge, or whatever, that just is a few hours in the evening, over cocktails! People could blog about what they're reading and how the book(s) is/are going.

Just an idle thought...

Carol Dean said...

Kristin, my Facebook account has been disabled, so would you send me your email ... I'm at SandFibers@yahoo.com Thank you!

Kristin Dodge said...

Liz... that is an interesting idea. I wish I had more time to create a reading challenge, though if someone else would like to do the work, let me know. ;-)