Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe has been on my "interested in reading" list (in my head) for a long time, so when I saw it at the library the other day, I picked it up. It turned out to be a quick read.

The book is the story of Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin, who has just earned her Masters degree and is ready to begin her PhD program. She planned to spend her summer doing research for her doctorate, but plans changed when her mother asked her to go clear out her grandmother's old home near Salem. The house is hidden away, rather falling apart, with no electricity or phone. Connie goes to spend the summer there and while going through things finds an old note that sparks her interest. The note has the name "Deliverance Dane" on it. Connie assumes that it is a person's name, so begins to do some research trying to learn who that might be.

I loved this part of the book, because this is where Connie starts doing some genealogical research. And, as would be suspected, giving that the story takes place near and in Salem, Mass., the Salem Witch Trials come into play.

Most of the story is about Connie trying to find Deliverance's book. She isn't sure what kind of book it is. On probate records, it is listed as a "receipt book". It takes quite a bit of detective work to locate where an over 300 hundred year old book might be.

I found the book fun to read, but rather predictable. Certainly not one of the best books that I have ever read, yet, I would recommend it for fun, light reading. And I love the cover of the book!

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