The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

Status: Main Selections

June 2009 -- "Have you not considered the distinct possibility that the accused were simply guilty
of witchcraft?"

Connie Godwin thinks her academic advisor is teasing her: she has mastered the scholarship surrounding the Salem witch trials of 1692 and knows the question he poses is preposterous. She never suspects that answering it will alter everything she knows about the past, her family, and the professor himself. Interweaving two narratives, one set in 1991 and one set three centuries earlier, Katherine Howe's debut novel is a marvel of invention

and historical reconstruction. The author employs her training as an historian to vividly depict the realities of 17th-century Salem, dramatizing the plight of the unfortunate victims as they fall prey to the mania of their accusers. But it is the leap of imagination by which she connects Connie to that distant past that turns The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane into a bewitching reading

Sent by her mother to prepare her long-deceased grandmother's home for sale, Connie finds a decrepit dwelling filled with venerable oddities, including a collection of ancient bottles filled with peculiar liquids and powders. On her first night there, Connie chances on a crumbling bit of paper, bearing the words "Deliverance Dane," that has been carefully hidden inside a key tucked between the pages of a 300-year-old family Bible. Combing the local church registry for traces of this mysterious name, Connie strikes up an acquaintance with Sam, a steeplejack engaged in the church's preservation. Together they piece together Deliverance's tragic story and learn of her precious book of spells and recipes for healing potions. When a series of sinister events threaten Sam's life, Connie's search for the book is transformed from scholarly pursuit to a matter of life and death-and love. 
With breathless suspense and emotional sympathy, Katherine Howe guides readers between past and present as she reveals the discoveries of Connie Goodwin and the secrets of Deliverance Dane, condemned as a witch in the Salem hysteria. Told with conviction and thrillingly paced, this extraordinary first novel proves Howe's command of what may be the greatest sorcery of all: that of the consummate storyteller.


Message Edited by Jon_B on 08-24-2009 08:10 AM
by DSaff on ‎06-08-2009 11:29 AM
Excellent choice! This is a fabulous book and deserves the selection.
by blkeyesuzi on ‎06-08-2009 04:50 PM
I couldn't agree more! Great book.  Perfect summer reading and well-deserving of the selection.
by m3girl on ‎06-08-2009 07:32 PM
I have to agree.  I loved it from the beginning to the ending.
by JerseyAngel on ‎06-08-2009 10:08 PM
A wonderful choice! The author has earned this with an incredible novel!
by EbonyAngel on ‎06-09-2009 08:16 AM
I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.  Great choice for  a book club.
by ClaudiaLuce ‎06-09-2009 09:19 AM - edited ‎06-09-2009 09:21 AM
This is an unputdownable novel!  What a great choice B&N has made! I loved this book and have already ordered several copies to give so that others may enjoy what I have already had the chance to!
Message Edited by ClaudiaLuce on 06-09-2009 09:21 AM
by B&N Bookseller Brad_W on ‎06-09-2009 11:27 PM
Halfway through and loving it.  Definitely unputtadownable.
by eadieburke on ‎06-10-2009 02:40 PM
Great book club and summer read. I enjoyed it immensely!
by Donti on ‎06-10-2009 03:51 PM
I'm now in the middle of Chapter 7 and I am enjoying this book very much.  I'm totally hooked on this story! I have to find out what happens next!  It's really difficult to put down!
by libralady on ‎06-10-2009 07:11 PM
This is a great book..  What a great choice! 

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