Wednesday, June 24, 2009

[Review] - The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

Title: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Author: Katherine Howe
Genre: Historical Fiction
Year: 2009

Summary: 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.

Thoughts: Connie, a Harvard Graduate student working on her doctoral dissertation is sent by her hippie mother to clean out her deceased Grandmother's house. While there she discovers an old bible, where she finds a key and a scrap of paper with the name Deliverance Dane. These two items send her off an a journey to find Deliverance's book.

This was a wonderfully written tale, that moves smoothly back and forth between 1991 and the 17th Century. I have read a few different Historical Fictions concerning the Salem Witch Trials and have to say this has been one of my favorites. Ms. Howe's novel is steeped in History, Suspense, Magic and even a little bit of romance.

Score: 4 Stars

Author Website:

About the Author:
Katherine Howe's ancestors settled Essex County, Massachusetts in the 1620s, and stayed there through the twentieth century. Family members included Elizabeth Proctor, who survived the Salem witch trials, and Elizabeth Howe, who did not. Katherine Howe is completing a PhD in American and New England Studies at Boston University, which included teaching a research seminar on New England witchcraft. The idea for this novel developed while she was studying for her doctoral qualifying exams, walking her dog through the woods between Marblehead and Salem. She lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts with her husband and assorted animals.
(Courtesy of


  1. Oooo this sounds like a great read, I love stories that go between times! Must check thi s out, Thanks Anna

  2. I do hope the library gets this one cos it sounds good.
    Thanks for a great review, just makes me read it more

  3. Love the review! History... well... this one does sound like a good read because of the "search and find" thing... and I do love a good mystery! Thanks Anna, as always, for a new author!!!
    Hope you are having a wonderful day!!

  4. Anna,

    I'm glad you enjoyed this one...I've added it to my list. I don't read many historicals, but this one sounds like a winner. :) B loves to read books based on actual history and the Salem witches are one of her favs.


  5. A Time Travel! I never heard of this author and book before now. I like how unique this is with the Salem Witch Trials. Does it spend more time in the historical setting?

    Thanks on the review, its great Anna!

  6. Hi Caffey...

    The main character doesn't actually time travel. But the do flash backs into the 17th century.

    I guess the present and the past is about even in this book, at least that's what it seems like.

  7. Hi Anna!

    Sounds like another one for me to try! Neat, going between 17th century and 90's.

    Thanks for the great review and sharing!

    Dottie :)



Blog Widget by LinkWithin