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The Physick Book of Deliverance Daneby Katherine Howe
Connie moves into her grandmother's house to ready it for sale. She stumbles upon an ancient key with a tiny piece of paper rolled up inside that which reads: "Deliverance Dane." The search for the meaning of this phrase leads Connie to witches, hangings, a bit of romance, a little supernatural phenomenon, and an elusive spell book. Katherine Howe is an art historian and her own ancestors include Elizabeth Howe and Elizabeth Proctor, both of whom were tried in the Salem witch trials. Howe uses her own family stories here in this suspenseful read.
Synopses & Reviews
A crime lost to time. A secret buried deep. One book unlocks an unimaginable truth. Salem, Massachusetts, 1681. Fear and suspicion lead a small town to unspeakable acts. Marblehead, Massachusetts, 1991. A young woman is about to discover that she is tied to Salem in ways she never imagined. "A sensational debut novel . . . carries on every page Howe's unique passion, wit, intelligence, and spirit."
--Matthew Pearl, bestselling author of The Dante Club and The Poe Shadow "A terrific debut novel . . . a captivating thriller of the hidden powers of women throughout the centuries."
--Boston Globe "Literary alchemy . . . powerful enough to deliver a charming summer read."
--Christian Science Monitor "Howe pairs a scholarly search for a missing book with the thrill of spine-tingling witchery."
--Dallas Morning News "If you need some magic in your life . . . lose yourself in The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane."
--Real Simple "A devilishly delightful read."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"Compulsively readable . . . The novel is a page-turner, but the characters, not the plot, dominate." --Denver Post "A witch story that will leave you spellbound . . . Once in a while, a new writer offers up a hypnotic tale of the supernatural that has the publishing world quivering with excitement. In 2005 it was Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian; in 2006 it was Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale. This summer, The Physick Book is magic."
--USA Today "I thought I had found another Alice Hoffman as I began Katherine Howe's debut novel . . . It has definite Hoffman vibes, but with a little Da Vinci Code, Stephen King, and academic discourse thrown in to create a charming and different mix . . . Howe is masterful."
--Portland Oregonian "This isn't the same old hang-the-sorceror tale. It has a bedeviling twist."
--New York Daily News
Written by an author completing a Ph.D. in New England Studies, and whose ancestors had been accused witches in Salem, "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane" travels seamlessly between the trials in the 1690s and a modern woman's story of mystery and discovery.
Connie Goodwin should be spending her summer doing research for her Ph.D. dissertation in American History. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie's grandmother's abandoned home near Salem, she's compelled to help. It's not long before the time she's set aside for research is instead spent sorting through her grandmother's ancient possessions, discovering a woman she barely knew. One day, while exploring the dusty bookshelves in the study, Connie discovers a key hidden within an old bible. And within the key is a brittle slip of paper with two words written on it: Deliverance Dane. Along with a handsome steeplejack named Sam, Connie begins to dig into the town's records, looking for references to Deliverance Dane. But even as the pieces begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the witch trials so long ago, and she begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem's dark past than she could have ever imagined. Written by an author completing a Ph.D. in New England Studies, and whose ancestors were accused witches in Salem, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane travels seamlessly between the trials in the 1690s and a modern woman's story of mystery and discovery.
About the Author
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.
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