The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Katherine Howe

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Katherine Howe's ancestors settled Essex County, Mass. 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 got a Ph.D. in American and New England Studies at Boston University, which included a research seminar on New England witchcraft. The idea for this novel developed while she was studying for her Ph.D. exams, walking her dog through the woods between Marblehead and Salem. She lives in Marblehead, MA with her husband and assorted animals.
 
Published June 3, 2009 by Hachette Books. 394 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

Examiner

In some sense, both Sarah Water's The Little Stranger and Katherine Howe's The Physic Book of Deliverance Dane are supernatural thrillers, but each book takes a fundamentally different approach to the role of the supernatural in the ultimate metaphysical grounding of their respective plots.

Jul 22 2009 | Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

Examiner

Katherine Howe, author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, deftly weaves modern day, Harvard doctoral candidate Connie Goodwin’s life with that of Salem-era witch Deliverance Dane.

Dec 17 2011 | Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

Book Reporter

Happenstance brings Connie the intriguing name of Deliverance Dane.

Apr 06 2010 | Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

All About Romance

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The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane.

Jan 29 2013 | Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

The Washington Post

He is her graduate adviser and should be on her side, but even as she passes her oral examination, which will advance her to candidacy for her doctorate, he begins to nag her to come up with a suitable dissertation topic.

Jun 12 2009 | Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

Christian Science Monitor

This debut novel blends the history of the Salem witch trials with the tale of a 1991 Harvard student who makes some surprising discoveries about her family’s past.

Jul 18 2009 | Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

Suite 101

The debut novel from Katherine Howe is a step in the right direction as she fictionally retells the horrors of the Salem Witch Trials from a new and unique perspective.

Nov 08 2009 | Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

Pajiba

When it’s hinted that the book Connie is pursuing might the closest thing to a genuine spell book one could find from 17th century New England, Dr. Chilton (her advisor) becomes downright obsessed and begins hounding Connie with threats of professional embarrassment if she does not find the book ...

Feb 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

Oregon Live

I thought I had found another Alice Hoffman as I began Katherine Howe's debut novel, "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane," perhaps a little practical magic overlaying a story of romance.

Jul 13 2009 | Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

Denver Post

her interest in Connie's career sometimes bordered on the motherly, and as a result Connie consciously had to work to control the pseudo-parental transference that many students develop toward their mentors.

Aug 02 2009 | Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

SF Site

When she's close to finding the book at an inopportune time, the question of is it the right book or not is compelling.

| Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

Deseret News

Connie begins having visions, and when a dear friend suddenly falls ill, Connie can't help but wonder if there's more to Deliverance Dane's tale than even she ever imagined.

Jun 21 2009 | Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

Fantasy Literature

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.

Oct 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

New York Public Library

(At times Connie is a bit too stiff and analytical, but as the book moves forward she does evolve.) The story follows not only Connie's story but also Deliverance Dane and her descendants in interludes that mirror Connie's research about the book and shed some light on the women who passed it dow...

Aug 30 2009 | Read Full Review of The Physick Book of Deliveran...

Reader Rating for The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
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