The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
The blurb: While clearing out her grandmother’s cottage for sale, Connie Goodwin finds a hidden parchment inscribed with the name Deliverance Dane. And so begins the hunt to uncover the woman behind the name, a hunt that takes her back to Salem in 1692 . . . and the infamous witchcraft trials.
But nothing is entirely as it seems and when Connie unearths the existence of Deliverance’s spell book, the Physick Book, the situation takes on a menacing edge as interested parties reveal their desperation to find this precious artefact at any cost. What secrets does the Physick Book contain? What magic is scrawled across its parchment pages? Connie must race to answer these questions – and reveal the truth about Salem’s women – before an ancient family curse once more fulfils its dark and devastating prophecy . . .
My review: I picked this book up as I was heading off on my travels because it looked so good – the spine is gorgeous, very old leather looking. Its a book you’d be happy to have on your bookshelf and I must confess a fascination with the Salem witch trials.
I wasn’t disappointed in The Physick Book, I thoroughly enjoyed. Not immediately but as soon as Connie goes to live in her grandmother’s house and things start to get a little more interesting. The book picks up its pace as it where, and the hunt for the physick book begins in earnest. I loved all the historical flashbacks, Katherine Howe has a real talent for descriptive writing, it kept me engaged in the different time narratives that don’t always work in books.
All the female characters in the Dane line were wonderfully written, engaging and interesting with their special talents being believable and not trite. The magical elements in this book fit so smoothly with the whole which is a real pleasure. (Not to happy with the love interest though, it all seemed a little too good to be true!)
The only thing I didn’t like about this book is that occasionally I had trouble with the heroine’s supposed intelligence. Here is a woman who has attended some of the best universities in America and when presented with the most simple of clues can’t seem to figure them out. More than once I shouted at the book in frustration that she must be a simpleton. I liked the character but I thought this was dragging the clues out unnecessarily.
All in all this was a good holiday read and I loved the spells, magic and history of it.
7 out of 10 stars! *******