Wyndie's Reviews > The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
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Nov 01, 09

Read in November, 2009

Bravo to whoever was responsible for the book jacket. I was drawn in by a glowing review from Matthew Pearl, the author of “The Dante Club.” The premise looked like a unique spin to one of America’s more tragic parts of history, the Salem witch trials. However the novel was a poorly written 375 page disappointment.

I felt much like Connie; searching for a book. The characters (living and dead) were void of dimension, making it difficult for me to feel vested in her quest for Deliverance Dane. The modern portion of the tale was set in 1991. This reflects poorly on Howe’s ability as an author. Apart from one minor comment about the seemingly absurd use of a cell phone, there was not much else that grounded the reader in 1991. Her main character, Connie Goodwin uses pre Google research methods. A wild-goose chase for an allusive manuscript in 2009 would comprise of countless mind-numbing hours on the computer. I understand her need for Connie to search in card catalogues, and the ability to handle the actual books, it propels her through the plot. Howe should have wholeheartedly embraced 1991 time period with even half of the detail and accuracy as her tales of the 1690’s.
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Phyllis Well, she does mention the love interest wearing Doc Martens, so that's clearly 1991. :)


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