Welcome to a new “Witch Book Wednesday” post. Every Wednesday, during the month of October, I am going suggest an atmospheric and witchy book you should definitely add to your October TBR.
Title: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Author: Katherine Howe
Release Date: June 9, 2009
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Mystery, Fantasy
A spellbinding, beautifully written novel that moves between contemporary times and one of the most fascinating and disturbing periods in American history–the Salem witch trials.
Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie’s grandmother’s abandoned home near Salem, she can’t refuse. As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key within a seventeenth-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest–to find out who this woman was and to unearth a rare artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge.
As the pieces of Deliverance’s harrowing story begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials, and she begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem’s dark past then she could have ever imagined.
Written with astonishing conviction and grace, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane travels seamlessly between the witch trials of the 1690s and a modern woman’s story of mystery, intrigue, and revelation.
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane is the perfect witchy book to read in the month of October. I am so glad that the booksellers at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati are such great book-pushers. When someone tells you that a book is like the adult version of Hocus Pocus, how can you say no to purchasing it? YOU CAN’T!
One of my favorite elements of this book is the unraveling of mystery spread through the pages. The author, Katherine Howe, provides a great story plot that allows her characters, especially the main character Connie, to explore their own identities through their ancestors, which helps intertwine new and old friendships.
I also enjoyed the alternating time periods in this book, which explored the Salem Witch Trials and paralleled that time with Connie’s role in the 1990s, who went about collecting information/research from the 1690s for her PhD history degree. I was so enthralled by the idea of linking the past with the present, which helps Connie to discover old family secrets that affect her current situation.
Along with the mystery and historical background, Howe incorporates fantastical elements and a slow burn love story into the mix. I would highly recommend this book to readers who love history, growing friendships, the Salem Witch Trials, romance, and a thrilling mystery.