Monday, June 29, 2009

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Do you like a little history with your fiction? Or a little fiction with your history? This book might just work for you.

Connie Goodwin has just completed her qualifying exam to enter the dissertation program at Harvard. Rather than spend the summer doing research for her PhD, she moves up to Marblehead, Massachusetts to clean up her grandmother's long-abandoned house. The house turns out to be straight out of the last century, with no electricity, no phone, and rudimentary running water. It's also full of antiques, strange substances in glass jars, and old books, one of which hides a key with a mysterious parchment on it.

Soon Connie is too busy researching the name on the parchment - Deliverance Dane - to devote much time to her studies, much to her advisor's displeasure. She discovers that Deliverance was tried for being a witch during the Salem Witch Trials, and has possibly left behind a book detailing all of her "spells." Throw in a brewing romance, and Connie has her hands full for the summer. When her new friend, Sam, becomes seriously ill, it is up to Connie to discover the whereabouts of Deliverance's book in order to help Sam recover - can she do it in time to save him?

This book has a little bit of everything - history, romance, suspense, magic, etc. I especially enjoyed the historical details of life in the colonies during different eras. If you enjoy reading about Deliverance Dane, give The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff a try, another book that features both contemporary and historical family stories. This book is great for beach reading or settling in for a long day on a lounge chair or hammock. Enjoy!

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