The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
by: Katherine Howe

Published: 2009

# of pages: 384

I have to admit, I was disappointed in this book. I waited on it to become available in the library system for months. I had skimmed through some reviews and seen it on several TBR lists and it was obviously a popular book at the library! However, there were a few things I didn't like about the book in spite of how original the storyline was and the interesting content (Salem Witch Trials).

The book's main character is Connie, a graduate student who spends the summer cleaning out her grandmother's abandoned house while she should be searching for the perfect thesis subject. While in Salem, she discovers clues about a physick book that belonged to a woman named Deliverance Dane. Connie also discovers romance and evil and it all jumbles together and Connie has to sort it all out. Obviously the book becomes the subject of her thesis...she just has to find it first!

The story alternates between Connie in modern Salem and other characters from the past, including the years surrounding the Salem Witch Trials. It's interesting how it all ties together, although it sure takes Connie long enough to connect all the dots!

So the story is neat! However, Connie's character annoyed the heck out of me. Seriously, how is that I know more about the history of colonial America than she does, a grad student studying that period of history!? The girl acts clueless about what I am pretty sure is common knowledge among anyone interested in history. I know about that stuff and I haven't even studied American history in depth. Also, at the end there's a pretty important job she performs and yet she completely neglects a major part of the preparation until it's too late. Then she's like, "oh, whoops. I forgot about that part." I mean, there was a lot at stake, how could you miss such a major part?? You'd think it would have at least crossed her mind at some point. She was pretty ditsy several times throughout the novel as she investigates the clues to the physick book's whereabouts. And a lot of it was common sense.

I suppose the story is very predictable as well. That didn't bother me as much, but Connie's lack of perception made it worse. I did enjoy the historic flashbacks that occurred. I thought those characters and their actions were cleverly written. It's just too bad that the same can't be said for the main character.

So, I recommend this to adults who are interested in historical fiction and/or the Witch Trials. This is a unique view on that event, whether or not you like the character of Connie.

Other reviews:
Bookfoolery and Babble
Dolce Bellezza

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

1 comment:

Pierre said...

I was disappointed in this one as well - I just thought it was going to be so good and it wasn't. Ah, well, perhaps her next book will be better.

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