I received an advanced copy of this book through Shelf Awareness and am so glad I did!! I didn't actually know a whole lot about the Salem Witch Trials and I was intrigued to learn more about them, especially written in the form of a story taking place between that era of history and modern day.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story - there was a perfect combination of mystery, suspense, history, intrigue, magic and even a little romance. I was a bit nervous to be honest, because I'm not a huge fan of the idea of witches or witchcraft whatsoever. But then at the same time I very much enjoy movies like Indiana Jones and there is socery weaved into the plot of those, so I was very much interested to see where this would go. And it did not disappoint. I found myself stealing away whenever I could so that I could finish it and find out what happens in the end between Connie and her professor. I will be honest there were times in the book that the spells written out made me uncomfortable and I would scan over them, because I believe there is power in words and the spiritual realm does exist and I didn't want to give anything demonic access into my life. That may sound wild to some of you, but that's honestly where I'm coming from when reading this book and would be my only caution to anyone else who wants to read it.
This author did her homework, and I can really appreciate that so much! She just didn't spew out a bunch of fiction, but she really tied in a lot of history and research, and it makes a big difference in the storyline. I also want to point out that author herself is a direct descendent of Elizabeth Proctor, who survived the Salem witch trials and Elizabeth Howe, who did not. It appears to be Katherine Howe's first novel and I think she nailed it.
I'm really grateful I had the opportunity to read it and if you might be interested in learning more about The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane or Katherine Howe, just click here.
Description: 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.
Recommend: Yes, I think it was a great story!