From Review by JJ (MsRewrite.com)
“The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” from Hyperion, June 2009
This June, readers who love being plunked down in places of long ago are in for a treat. Katherine Howe’s “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” is like a walk in another time. Set part in present day, and part in the Salem of olde, this story wraps the reader in history and transports the imagination to days when the world and women were misunderstood and magic ruled, to a time when smart women were vilified and destroyed out of fear. While closing her mother’s house over a summer and working on her doctoral dissertation, main character Connie Goodwin discovers a key which unlocks powerful Salem secrets, long buried but restless still. As the story unfolded in my mind’s eye, I was transported back to a world of lamplight and superstition where shadows lurk in dark corners. Although I read beneath a bright halogen bulb, the places I saw were lit by the glow of oil lamps or flickering fireplace flames. Characters faded in and out, disappearing into the gloom or appearing suddenly as if conjured wickedly from whole cloth. I envy anyone reading this book for the first time but it’s best done in the quiet of an evening for you won’t want to be disturbed. Katherine Howe’s debut book is one not to be missed.