The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

A Novel

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
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The Salem witch trials haunt a modern young woman in this masterful first novel. Written by an author whose ancestors were accused witches in Salem, "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane" travels seamlessly between the trials in the 1690s and a modern woman's story of mystery and discovery.
Publisher: New York : Hyperion, c2009
ISBN: 9781401340902
Branch Call Number: FIC HOW
Characteristics: 371 p. ; 24 cm

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finn75
Oct 07, 2015

An ok read. I found it a bit predictable but it was still better than anything on TV that night!

creampuffgranny Aug 19, 2015

Would make a great movie.
Really enjoyed reading this book.

Lynn0321 Jan 03, 2015

One of my favorite books. I have read it more than a few times. The characters are relateable and I loved how believable and interesting the history is. Highly recommend.

a
artemishi
Jun 13, 2014

It's hard to believe that The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane is a debut novel. Katherine Howe weaves multiple narratives together, creating an engaging story of colonial 1690's life as well as early 1990's academic life in New England. This story is part magical realism, part historical fiction, part mystery, part family dynamics and part love story. But it's all awesome.

I lovedy love when a historian can write well, and bring their era of passion to life. Howe not only created an interesting, believable, and intriguing tale- she inspired me to learn more about life in Salem, MA at the time of the witch trials.

I highly recommend this one for fans of historical fiction, wonderfully bookish female protagonists, graduate students (especially of American history), witchcraft, New England, and religion. It's refreshing, engaging, and made me pick up Howe's second book as soon as I put this one down.

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dgl4024
Mar 21, 2014

This book starts out a bit slow but becomes more compelling with each passing page. The story alternates between the present day Boston/Salem area and the Salem Mass. witch trials of the 1640's. Deliverance Dane is a woman put on trial for being a witch in 1640's Salem Mass.
Connie Goodwin is a present day woman working on her doctoral dissertation while trying to prepare her mother's house for sale.

Each time the story switches to the past, the time setting has advanced forward several years, occasionally decades. So after Deliverance we read about her daughter, then grandaughter and so on.

I found the author's portrayal of the accused witches of the 1640's very believable and easy to understand how the people's fear of the un known fueled their strident pursuit of the so-called "witches".

Taken as a whole the story is satisfying and it has a happy ending. I read some of the reviews that said the ending was cartoonish. There was nothing about the ending that was or even hinted at being cartoonish for me. I found it to be a very satisfying conclusion to the story.

The only drawback was that I found some of the narrative of the past events to be a bit tedious but it wasn't excessive and overall didn't detract from the story.

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Hannah_Emory
Mar 16, 2013

1. After the first few chapters, the protagonist became limp and silly. Howe seemed to be describing more of a teenager than an independent adult, which threw me a little. 2. Plus, the romance between Sam and Connie is not at all compelling. 3. In many spots, the dialogue was repetitive and weak. 4. The book is VERY long and several details could have been left out to make it more concise and appealing. 5. The best part about the book was when it flashed back in time to Salem and the witch trials (Howe could have written an entire narative on the Trials themselves! I hoped there would be more of the Trials than the present day in the novel and was sadly disappointed). 6. The novel resolved in a hurry, as if Howe knew that it was getting far too long or she just got bored with the plot line. 7. Very good vocabulary. 8. Lots of interesting details were dropped (I hoped Howe would link the doll from the bookcase to the poppet in "The Crucible" somehow and that Connie would find out that she and Deliverance are related). 9. The inclusion of actual magic made the book a whole lot less compelling. The fact that history itself whispers that there could have been more sinister forces at work in Salem is interesting enough.
10. I thought Katherine Howe's relationship to Elizabeth Proctor and Elizabeth Howe was very compelling and gave the book a tad more interest.
In conclusion: The book is the kind that you read when you have a lot of time to kill. It's the kind where you don't care if the storyline is pointless and fluffy. If you're looking for good Witch Trials fiction, try Aruthur Miller's "The Crucible". Both the play text and the movie are extremely good :)

BookDiva Jun 26, 2012

I'm on board with acupcakelol, although I forced myself to read this one as a purchases it on kobo and felt I had to...it was a long road and in the end I felt it wasn't worth it at all. The characters are unlikable, the flashbacks are hard to understand unless you speak 1600's dialect on a regular basis and the end was super anticlimactic and confusing. At the end of it I was like...meh...who cares. On to better things I hope.

acupcakelol Jun 11, 2012

It's a LONG read. The story itself is interesting but they don't get to the point. The reading words or vocal is very high. The explanations are long and through. However, the details make the book long and tedious. It's a good book but there's just too much of it. I didn't even finish it I got half way and I couldn't stand it any longer

RockTheBooks Apr 16, 2012

Not a bad read. Some parts were a bit nauseating, but if you get past the cutesy romance, there are some really great elements to this book. There was just enough historical content to pique interest and I appreciated Howe's attention to accuracy when discussing the Trials and life in puritan New England.

loonylovesgood Mar 18, 2012

An enjoyable read, fascinating to learn about the Salem witch trials. Kind of a neat little twist at the end too!

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