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The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

de Katherine Howe

Sèrie: Connie Goodwin (1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
4,0783352,165 (3.66)275
While readying her grandmother's abandoned home for sale, Connie Goodwin discovers an ancient key in a seventeenth-century Bible with a scrap of parchment bearing the name Deliverance Dane. In her quest to discover who this woman was and seeking a rare artifact--a physick book--Connie begins to feel haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials and fears that she may be more tied to Salem's past than she could have imagined.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 334 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I'm feeling generous though this should probably be more of a 3.5 star rating. it's slightly predictable but not in a bad way. And one of the characters is reduced to mere caricature. Other than that, I really enjoyed this novel. Howe has done her research but I never felt like it was a history lesson. The love story is important but not the main plot line. Connie is an interesting and complex protagonist. The mix of love story, mystery, mother-daughter relationships, Salem witch trial history, and witchcraft makes this a great story. Howe is an excellent writer and I'll definitely read more from her in the future. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
There is so much to love about this book in spite of its tragic storyline about researching the lives of women descended from a woman hanged in the Salem Witch trials.

First, is the title. It piqued my interest from the moment I read it. Next comes the list of characters. Each is intriguing in his or her own right, and especially as their bloodline is traced and the importance of their names in succession is revealed. Third, the plot line held my interest, as did the descriptions of the libraries and their old books, the hidden house with its almost sentient garden, and the magical little dog that appears and disappears unnoticed.

Finally, that the storyline is set amidst the rigorous and often frantic halls of academia and scholarly research is a unique and brilliant touch.

I’ve read many fiction and non-fiction books centered around the Salem Witch trials, and this is definitely among the top 10. ( )
  LoriFox | Oct 24, 2020 |
I agree with the other posters: Connie was awful ignorant for a PhD candidate! I kept having to just go along with it and suspend disbelief that I knew stuff Connie took forever to figure out. I did finish it, but I put it aside close to the end and felt no compulsion to pick it up again. ( )
  JenniferElizabeth2 | Aug 25, 2020 |
I generally don't patronize book clubs since it is highly unlikely I will be motivated enough to finish the selected book. I did drag myself through this book however, just to get a 100% book club experience. The conceit here is that the protagonist does some sleuthing around Boston and locates and enters an abandoned and dilapidated house where something portentous had happened in colonial times. Through a portal that miraculously materializes she can observe but not interact with the characters from long ago. Its sort of like "Somewhere in Time" but lacks its poignancy. ( )
  JoeHamilton | Jul 21, 2020 |
I picked this book up on sale and it was quite enjoyable. I liked the inclusion of magic and the details of the Salem witch trials, which I knew little about. One thing that bothered me was instead of just assuming they spoke with a Boston accent, some words were spelled out to emphasize it, and I didn't like that. Overall quite good though. ( )
  Linyarai | Feb 17, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 334 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I absolutely love the setup of having someone in the present investigating a story from the past, with the action moving between the two periods, but so very few authors do it well and get the balance right. Howe is one of those few. The action takes place mostly in the present, with the sparse sections set at the times of Deliverance and her descendents exactly enough to enrich the investigation and mirror and illustrate some of the developments in Connie's story.

I also loved that Connie had to do proper detective work to uncover what had gone on in Deliverance's time. The last few books I read with this setup ...had the present-day protagonist just stumbling on stuff, and then doing nothing more strenuous than reading a diary. Connie isn't so lucky. She has to follow up on all sorts of sources, and since the book is set in 1991, this doesn't mean just going online and running a few searches. She needs to actually visit a variety of places and consult a whole lot of potential documents, from church archives to probate records, and when she does find something, she needs to interpret and decode what ambiguous records might mean and imply. ...

Something I really ended up liking, though were the relationships in the book. There are a few false steps in the characterisations at the beginning, with people sounding a bit off... Howe soon hits her stride, and things feel much more natural. I liked Connie and Sam's romance, but I think my favourite was the way Howe develops the concept of mother-daughter relationships
 
"The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane" is smart, and Howe's research translates into a vividly imagined narrative. The social forces driving Deliverance's life come alive, as do the realities of the not so distant pre-Internet and cellphone realities of Connie's world. The novel is a page-turner, but the characters, not the plot, dominate... The novel's weakness lies in the final pages, which beg credulity. That flaw shouldn't be a deal-killer. "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane," up to that point, not only goes down smoothly but raises questions about society, and what might be taken for magic, that linger after the final page is turned.
 
“The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” does indeed perform a work of magic. Through a type of literary alchemy the current interest in novels tied to the Salem witch trial (“The Heretic’s Daughter” by Kathleen Kent and “The Lace Reader” by Brunonia Barry are just two examples), commingles with the plot of A.S. Byatt’s “Possession” (in which a graduate student stumbles upon a secret powerful enough to upend recorded history) and produces a new compound – in this case, one powerful enough to deliver a charming summer read.
 
In her provocative debut novel, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, Katherine Howe pairs a scholarly search for a missing book with the thrill of spine-tingling witchery.
 
I liked this book very much, but I want to ask the author's editor to please, in the future, keep her from wrapping or folding her characters' arms around their middles. And also point out that Connie's shoulder bag gets dropped on the floor so often it begins to sound like a character itself. But these are minor complaints. And by the end of this book, as any graduate student should, Katherine Howe has filled us in on much more than we used to know about that group of unfortunate women who paid the price of their lives due to a town's irrational fears.
 

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"I watch'd today as Giles Corey was presst to death between the stones. He had lain so for two days mute. With each stone they tolde him he must plead, lest more rocks be added. But he only whisperd, More weight. Standing in the crowde I found Goodwyfe Dane, who, as the last stone lower'd, went white, grippt my hand, and wept."

--Letter fragment dated "Salem Towne, September 16, 1692"
Division of Rare Manuscripts, Boston Athenaeum
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For my family
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Peter Petford slipped a long wooden spoon into the simmering iron pot of lentils hanging over the fire and tried to push the worry from his stomach.
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The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (U.S.) is also known as The Lost Book of Salem (U.K.)
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While readying her grandmother's abandoned home for sale, Connie Goodwin discovers an ancient key in a seventeenth-century Bible with a scrap of parchment bearing the name Deliverance Dane. In her quest to discover who this woman was and seeking a rare artifact--a physick book--Connie begins to feel haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials and fears that she may be more tied to Salem's past than she could have imagined.

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