Summary: 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. ~powells.com
Review: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane centers around Connie, a Harvard graduate student. After a timely request from her mother to close her grandmother’s house, Connie moves to a town outside Salem, MA. The house is no prize, in fact it was downright scary: no electricity, overgrown yard, located off the main road. I wouldn’t walk onto the house in the daylight, let alone at night. After finding a key with a name in it in a bible, Connie begins a quest to find who is Deliverance Dane. I loved the journey to the past. I found the foundation story of Deliverance and Mercy Dane wonderful. I thought it was brilliant for Ms. Howe to pen it in old English. It was challenging for me to read, but really enjoyable.