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Archive 08-19 GR Discussions > The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane *SPOILERS ALERT* For chicks that have finished the book.

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message 1: by Monica (new)

Monica (imelda85) Hello Chicks!

I know there's quite a few of us that have already finished The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, so I figured I'd open up a thread so we can all chat away! There were so many surprises for me throughout the book, I wouldn't want any twists spoiled for anyone!

I thought I would just start with an opening question and go from there! I have a lot of questions, there's so much to discuss, so here we go!

The story follows several sets of mothers and daughters: Connie and Grace, Grace and Sophia, Deliverance and Mercy, Mercy and Prudence. How do these mother/daughter relationships differ from one another? How are they the same? Did you identify with one set more than the others?


message 2: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) This is a wonderful book - I loved every minute and read it over two days only stopping for the odd cup of tea.

The mother/daughter relationships were very interesting. I thought Deliverance and Mercy shared a very special bond but wasn't really sure how Prudence became so befitting of her name. To sell the book like that, although understandable (...and plot necessary!) was a surprise. Grace was a wonderful character, infuriating but so interesting. Could you bear to leave that house though?!

Did anyone else have the urge to try the sieve and scissors trick? - LOL - I thought Katherine Howe dealt incredibly well with the magical element of the book. I was more than willing to suspend my disbelief in the 'blue-spark' magic. Unbelievable, yet believable! - Did others find that? (...wish the book didn't have to be burned in the end - I know it's there in the computer archive somewhere but even though I know its not real, how fantastic would it be to hold a book like that!

Also - Manning Chilton - not sure what to make of him. In a way I would have liked him to be even more evil and sinister – the is he nice or nasty part was part of the suspense though wasn’t it! - But he got his due in the end.

The Salem witch trials is a fascinating step back in time, obviously there is also a lot of witchcraft history in the UK too and it amazes me what counted for witchcraft. - I wonder how I would have felt had I lived in 'pre-scientific' times when there was no logical explanations for illness or weather patterns. How easy might it have been to condemn these innocents??? (...if they were indeed innocent as the premise of the book suggests could happen!).

Such a fantastic book - this will definitely be one that I read over and over again!

Ally



Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I LOVE this book! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! This turned out to be such an amazing read, a very pleasant surprise! Back later with my answer!


message 4: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 15, 2009 09:27AM) (new)

Tiffany | 92 comments Perhaps this is a stretch, but I find that one of most interesting the themes of the book is naming - both the names of the women and the name of the book they pass down for several generations. For this family, it was common for the women to have their given name (presumably selected by their mother) shortened into a nickname that seemed more modern than their given name. The daughters took the book and renamed it into something that fit their own interpretation of its purpose and its place in the world in which they lived. I think this says a great deal about the tension in the relationship between the daughters and their mothers.


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Not much of a stretch at all Tiffany! I took note of the names and book names throughout too.


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Brenda wrote: "Monica, I am so excited to read this book. I am only on page 36 but spoilers do not bother me, and I hope to finish the book in record time, so I can participate.

I am so fascinated by the concep..."


Brenda, for me, the book just kept getting better and better as I read more!




Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Allhug, I literally screamed when she burned the book! LOL I was hoping she'd thrown some other book in the fire instead. I completely understand why it needed to be burned, too much power in the wrong hands... I've often wondered what would come of me living in those times. I'm some where between and conventional and an unconventional woman. (My bff said we'd be on the gallows together, lol! If nothing more than because of our mouth's! So that's probably my answer!) The entire time period fascinates me.


message 8: by Monica (new)

Monica (imelda85) Hi everyone!
Jo- I nearly screamed as well when she threw the book in the fire! What was Connie talking about at the very end with Liz on page 361, it sounds like maybe the physick book is hidden at the Radcliffe archives somewhere? I got a little confused.

I totally got goosebumps when her mother states Connie's full name! I didn't put it together until that moment that Connie was short for something else!

I, too, felt that Katherine Howe did an incredible job with making the magical elements in the book realistic. The dandelion scene was so amazing! I read that part of the book several times, it was so incredible. I also thought it was interesting how the author incorporated religion into the magical elements of the story.

I loved the bond that Deliverance and Mercy had, it brought me to tears.



Christy (TheReaderBee) (thereaderbee) | 192 comments Monica wrote: "I nearly screamed as well when she threw the book in the fire! What was Connie talking about at the very end with Liz on page 361, it sounds like maybe the physick book is hidden at the Radcliffe archives somewhere? I got a little confused.

Did she mean that Radcliffe was more up to date than the Harvard library, and had a copy of the book on Microfilm?




message 10: by Brenda (new)

Brenda (brenlouhen) This is what I like about book clubs... other people have insights that I just didn't have when I read it. I liked it, it was a fun read, but I have gotten a bit more out of it since reading everyone's comments. Thank you, thank you! I can't wait for everyone else to comment as well!


message 11: by Caltman (new)

Caltman | 6 comments Just finished this book and I really enjoyed it. I loved that the women in this family had "real" magic inside them and and enjoyed the way the story developed within the Salem witch trials. I thought Deliverance and Mercy's relationship was the most powerful of all the pairs and the scene at the end really got to me.


message 12: by Mary (last edited Aug 16, 2009 07:07PM) (new)

Mary (madamefifi) | 202 comments

Me, too! Also, I would've liked to read more about the descendants of Deliverance Dane. There is Mercy, then Prudence, then a brief mention of Prudence's daughter (I have forgotten her name), and then a gap until Granna (was her given name mentioned? I forget that, as well). I enjoyed this book very much but less modern-day grad student and more ancestor, please! It would've made the transitions between "flashback" and "today" more smooth, I think, to get a picture of what Deliverance's heirs were up to. And I was disappointed that the book passed out of the family like that---wouldn't it have been cool to have a story of the book's being passed down from generation to generation?



message 13: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2563 comments Mod
I agree and I didn't realize it until you've put it into words. I knew there was a reason this wasn't a 5 star for me. I did really like the book but the obvious evil professor was a little weak for me. I also didnt really understand the point of the student she was mentoring. What purpose did he serve?


message 14: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) | 202 comments Yes, once the initially benign professor started decompensating the story got pretty predictable, didn't it? Who didn't know that when the door to Connie's house blew open it would be the professor standing there?

You know, another character that I enjoyed and wished to hear a bit more about was the little Familiar! He just sort of quietly slipped in and out of the storylines without too much fuss, didn't he?


message 15: by Ally (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) Yes - there was that question that 'Arlo'/'Dog' may have been one and the same familiar - kind of like a timeless animal connecting all the generations of Deliverances line (...is my imagination a bit too wild!) - I loved that Arlo seemed to just 'find' or 'adopt' Connie of his own accord like that. Destiny there to be spotted but its all to easy for us humans to be lind to things isn't it. - Like I said earlier, I found it all too easy to suspend my disbelief with this book! (...my new mantra: "its not real...its not real..."!!!).

I was also confused about the student she was mentoring - maybe a love triangle was planned but never materialised?

I love that we get to ask Katherine Howe some questions - thanks for setting that up! - this group is great!

Ally


message 16: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wldinnis) I don't think her mother was superflous. I think the book looked very closely at the mother/daughter relationships and how they passed down their heritage. I think it took a while for Connie to appreciate what her mother brought to the relationship but it was her mother who really made Connie think outside of the box.


message 17: by Monica (new)

Monica (imelda85) Brenda wrote: "Tera wrote: "I agree and I didn't realize it until you've put it into words. I knew there was a reason this wasn't a 5 star for me. I did really like the book but the obvious evil professor was a..."

Arlo was so cute! I loved that little dog. Definitely a magical little creature!

I thought it was interesting how the the men of the Dane women would die from traumatic events. Course, the men also seemed to have adventurous jobs that put them in quite a bit of danger to begin with!


message 18: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2563 comments Mod
Monica wrote: "Brenda wrote: "Tera wrote: "I agree and I didn't realize it until you've put it into words. I knew there was a reason this wasn't a 5 star for me. I did really like the book but the obvious evil ..."

Okay thats another thing that I wish had been explained. Why were their men seemingly cursed? Was there a reason? Could it be stopped? Was she destined to lose her love now that she finally found it?

LOL the more we discuss the more I realize I'm having issues with some elements.


message 19: by Monica (new)

Monica (imelda85) You're right! I've been trying to figure this one out as well!

The Dane women's magical elements must indirectly cause their men harm, but how? If I were Connie, I would be afraid that Sam would come to more harm!! It seems as though that they are meant to be single women. They all have had one child, a daughter, and then something inevitably happens to their husbands.

The Dane women are strong willed and independent and they are bound to their powers. As Connie has found out, she can't change who she is. All through school she was single, as I recall, until she meets Sam.


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Brenda wrote: "Okay, Jo, here are what I think is two mistakes in the book. It is mid summer in Salem when she first comes to her granny's house. Tomatoes are already blooming in the garden? HUH?

She also des..."


I usually have my tomato's blooming before 4th of July so it's entirely possible if the weather's cooperative! (This year not so much, LOL!)

With living on the Coast, things tend to bloom slightly out of kilter vs more inland and again, depending on the weather, the blooms could be later than usual.

Both are quite possible!




Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Monica wrote: "Hi everyone!
Jo- I nearly screamed as well when she threw the book in the fire! What was Connie talking about at the very end with Liz on page 361, it sounds like maybe the physick book is hidd..."


The book itself isn't hidden, but they had made copies of the entire document to put into a computer system (or micro fiche maybe) so that the manuscript can be further preserved. What Connie did was to change some of the 'call #' information for the Physick Book in the systems so it would be very difficult to find but if she or her Mom need it, they know how to find it.




Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Brenda wrote: "Okay, I am on PAGE 215, I guess I figured out why tomatoes are growing in mid June! MAGIC! silly me...tricks are for kids."

No, not necessarily Brenda! Coastal gardening is a world unto itself, trust me! (Whether or not you garden in ground or in containers!)




Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Christy wrote: "Monica wrote: "I nearly screamed as well when she threw the book in the fire! What was Connie talking about at the very end with Liz on page 361, it sounds like maybe the physick book is hidden at ..."

Yup!



message 24: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Aug 17, 2009 01:03PM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) PSSSSSSSSST! There's a sequel to be written!!! Who knows what's in store?! Maybe things left unconnected or unshown in this book will be elaborated on in another? I, for one cannot wait until it comes out! She has another book coming out too, but not on this subject and I can't wait to read that one too! This new author has me very excited!




Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Wendy wrote: "I don't think her mother was superflous. I think the book looked very closely at the mother/daughter relationships and how they passed down their heritage. I think it took a while for Connie to app..."

I couldn't agree more! Mother/daughter relationships are often very complicated and sometimes because of past resentments, it takes a lot for us to be open to what they may have to share with us (and us with them) because they're doing it in their own ways, not the ways in which we want them or expect them to!




message 26: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Aug 17, 2009 01:06PM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I think the professor is a necessary evil with regards to the plot and given that Connie is studying to become a Harvard professor, it fits the story well to me that her 'arch enemy' of sorts would be her mentor.

Mentoring is a part of studying to become a professor - once you pass a certain point, you become a mentor to a younger student, guiding them, teaching them and preparing them for their own dissertation and orals, which is why Connie is mentoring a student.


message 27: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Aug 17, 2009 01:09PM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I was glad Arlo wasn't the stereotypical cat either and if you look into what "familiars" actually were at the time, they were very rarely a cat, though it was thought that a familiar could be any kind of animal. I really Arlo and his placement throughout these women's stories.

Did anyone notice that Arlo seemed to be more than a mere dog when the shape came from under the table to grab Chilton's arm?!


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Monica wrote: "You're right! I've been trying to figure this one out as well!

The Dane women's magical elements must indirectly cause their men harm, but how? If I were Connie, I would be afraid that Sam w..."


I think it's more of a coincidence and Grace has with time put more into that aspect than there really is.




message 29: by Monica (new)

Monica (imelda85) Jo wrote: "PSSSSSSSSST! There's a sequel to be written!!! Who knows what's in store?! Maybe things left unconnected or unshown in this book will be elaborated on in another? I, for one cannot wait until i..."

Really!? A sequel!!!!? I am so excited!! I would love to read more from her, that's for sure!

It's true about coastal gardening. I am always shocked by what is growing in people's gardens when I visit the coast! It's ridiculous trying to grow things in my rocky mountain soil! I'm downright envious of coastal gardeners! Haha! The Santa Cruz area is incredible for gardening and growing just about anything!


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) With respect to Monica's question in the first post and as I said before, Mother/Daughter relationships can be very complicated- to the point where it may appear as if no relationship really exists at all from one on the outside looking in. If one is merely piecing their story together with a few bits of personal items and the history of that time period, it's difficult to come up with all of the in's and out's of what has gone on between the Mother and Daughter.

All of the relationships are alike in that they have trouble with communicating with one another which leads to all sorts of other issues I'm sure.

I could relate to all of the relationships from the point of being a daughter. I've been in awe of and intimidated by my mother. I've been extremely resentful of my mother, even bothered by her. I have felt unimportant in my mother's eyes many times. We don't really understand one another or like one another, nor do we relate well at all, even though we are in fact a lot alike. Sometimes not talking is better than talking. We cannot communicate efficiently when it comes to very important issues.

Very relate-able for some indeed! lol


message 31: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Aug 17, 2009 01:25PM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Monica wrote: "Jo wrote: "PSSSSSSSSST! There's a sequel to be written!!! Who knows what's in store?! Maybe things left unconnected or unshown in this book will be elaborated on in another? I, for one cannot w..."

If you read the interview with her on her website, she talks about it briefly. It's a great interview! (http://www.katherinehowe.com)

I've basically had to throw out a lot of my gardening "know how's" since moving here to the coast because the 13 miles difference makes WORLDS of difference as to how things grow! I container garden, so things are always a teeny bit slower or act on their own but since moving here, it's been quite an experience! Just 2 miles inland from here, Sunflowers are in full & past bloom - mine may start to bloom this week or by next!




message 32: by Monica (new)

Monica (imelda85) There is nothing uncomplicated about a mother/daughter relationship, is there? My mom and I are closer than we have ever been, but we both went through quite a bit to get there. We've always been pretty close, but once I got out of high school and lived on my own for a bit, I really understood the importance and the strength of our relationship.

Deliverance and Mercy seemed to have a pretty close relationship. Mercy seemed less reluctant and much more accepting of her healing powers that she and her mother shared. Prudence was more frustrated and resentful of it having seen how it destroyed her family's reputation and social standing.

Deliverance was so strong and admirable. She refused to leave the prison with her daughter the night before her hanging. She did what she felt was right, I don't know what I would have done in that situation! I don't think I could leave my daughter if I had the choice, knowing what she would witness the next day at the gallows! I guess I'm not nearly as brave as Deliverane was!


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Monica wrote: "Deliverance and Mercy seemed to have a pretty close relationship. Mercy seemed less reluctant and much more accepting of her healing powers that she and her mother shared. Prudence was more frustrated and resentful of it having seen how it destroyed her family's reputation and social standing. "

I couldn't agree more, well said!

I'm not sure I could have done as Deliverance did either! And I couldn't imagine being Mercy & having to go away and move on from there either.


message 34: by Monica (new)

Monica (imelda85) Thanks for the link, Jo! You seem to have all the hook-ups! :)
You're so lucky to live so close to the ocean!


message 35: by Monica (new)

Monica (imelda85) Jo wrote: "I was glad Arlo wasn't the stereotypical cat either and if you look into what "familiars" actually were at the time, they were very rarely a cat, though it was thought that a familiar could be any ..."

Arlo is such a unique little character! I couldn't believe how he attacked Chilton! He seemed like a much larger, stronger version of himself by the way he through himself onto Chilton's arm. The whole book he had been described as somewhat of a smaller dog!


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) If he's actually a dog at all!!!

I love where we live! I just wish it didn't cost so much to live here but that's another story! (Hoping we hit the mega million or I have a wildly successful novel so I can buy a home in this town one day!)

I border on obsessive when I really like or love a book! I look up everything I can about the book and the author, even before I've finished reading sometimes!


message 37: by Monica (new)

Monica (imelda85) Jo wrote: "If he's actually a dog at all!!!

I love where we live! I just wish it didn't cost so much to live here but that's another story! (Hoping we hit the mega million or I have a wildly successful n..."


I figured that Arlo was some kind of magical creature...or maybe he contains the spirits of Connie's ancestors? Arlo was aware of what was taking place with Connie and her discoveries and it seemed as though he had this, "Oh, boy, here we go again" kind of attitude!


message 38: by Elena (last edited Aug 17, 2009 03:55PM) (new)

Elena | 129 comments I have the Kindle edition and there is a postcript: "Real Wiches, Real Life" that I enjoyed a lot more than the book, which I found boring most of the time. I did't realized the witches in the story were actual character in the Salem trials and their tricks were also based on true stories.


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) It certainly could have been magick Brenda! Mother Nature's or otherwise, who knows?!


message 40: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2563 comments Mod
Jo wrote: "I think the professor is a necessary evil with regards to the plot and given that Connie is studying to become a Harvard professor, it fits the story well to me that her 'arch enemy' of sorts would..."

I don't know I still thought the evil professor was predictable and a bit on the cliche side.

I get that she would have a student to mentor I just think he was a totally useless character and added nothing to any aspect of the book. As a woman she'd also have a gynecologist but that character wasn't in the book. There are lots of people that would have been in her life that doesn't make them necessary to the story. My prediction as the only way to make him sensible in this book is to have him become the typical student trying to one up their prof. in part two and it will be a fist fight in the microfich department! The title... The Physickal Attack of Constance the Mentor. Just off the top of my head ;)




message 41: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wldinnis) Too funny, Tera!


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) You're too much Tera! I don't even know what to say to that, LOL!

And now for something completely different: Do you think Arlo actually exists? Is his existence exclusively in relationship to Connie or is he a seperate entity (for lack of a better term!) altogether? (Possible spoiler coming ->) Do you think the dog lying at Deliverance's grave at the novel's end was Arlo? Has he been at the side of all the women in this family throughout time?


message 43: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2563 comments Mod
Jo wrote: "You're too much Tera! I don't even know what to say to that, LOL!

And now for something completely different: Do you think Arlo actually exists? Is his existence exclusively in relationship t..."


Okay I guess I'm not as deep as I thought. I thought Arlo was just a dog. I didn't get anything else out of him than ... dog. I actually had kinda forgotten about him until you guys mentioned him.


message 44: by Brenda (new)

Brenda (brenlouhen) Jo wrote: "PSSSSSSSSST! There's a sequel to be written!!! Who knows what's in store?! Maybe things left unconnected or unshown in this book will be elaborated on in another? I, for one cannot wait until i..."

When I finished it, I thought "sequel."


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Sorry to say Brenda, but I didn't have any problems with the novel at all and I'm by no means an easy sell! I love it as it is and rated it 5 stars. I would've rated it more if I could have! It's the best book I've read so far this year and now one of my all time faves.

To each her own!




Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I don't think Arlo is a familiar in the traditional or stereotypical sense because he didn't appear to help her or the other with their magick, but I do feel he has been with the family throughout their generations. Not sure if he's a guardian of sorts or just a companion.


message 47: by Elena (new)

Elena | 129 comments I think Arlo was a guardian, he attacked the professor at the end.


message 48: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2563 comments Mod
my dog will attack someone they think is up to no good (of course if they have a dog treat they could rob us and she wouldn't mind). As far as I know she has no other powers but to beg food. I'm sorry I need more than an attack dog to make him anything other than a dog. For me, Arlo was just a stray dog.


message 49: by Monica (new)

Monica (imelda85) Jo wrote: "You're too much Tera! I don't even know what to say to that, LOL!

And now for something completely different: Do you think Arlo actually exists? Is his existence exclusively in relationship t..."


Yes, I think the dog on Deliverance's grave was Arlo and I believe that Arlo was the same familiar that belonged to Deliverance and Mercy. I guess he's kind of a family heirloom! :)


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Brenda, I was an English major too! It's the copy editor in me though that likes to take over a lot of my reads which is annoying for me but more annoying because a novels' editing is seriously lacking! But, some habbits & ways do die hard don't they? lol

Monica, that is such a great & cute way of putting it, that Arlo is a family heirloom!


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