1991 was indeed a spooky year, I think – “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane”

November 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

“The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane” by Katherine Howe, Published in 2009 

You could read this book and love it, I guess. Or you could read parts of it, get bored, read other books, then think “oh what happens with that crazy witch story,” and pick it up again – which is how I read this book.

Cover of "The Physick Book of Deliverance...

Cover of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

The main character Connie is a graduate student at Harvard, her major was Colonial History.   She finds herself in the summer of 1991 working on two things – her doctoral dissertation and cleaning up her Grandmother’s house in Marblehead so it can be put on the market.  While cleaning her Grandmother’s old house, she discovers it has no electricity, there are bottles and bottles of strange substances in the kitchen and *grasp* she finds a key in a Bible with a piece of paper that says “Deliverance Dane.” This leads Connie in search of information about Deliverance Dane and eventually an antique recipe book that may contain spells. (*psst* Deliverance Dane was a witch). Of course what a great topic for a dissertation, right? No? Oh, you make a good point.

There are other characters that may remind you of a bad Scooby Doo episode:

  • Grace – Connie’s mother whose new age attitude gets on Connie’s nerves.
  • Sam – the sweet, dopey neighborhood boy but don’t worry he is pretty smart too because he is a graduate student (a.k.a love interest).
  • Chilton – the harsh, yet brilliant graduate advisor who pushes Connie, perhaps a bit too hard. I believe he is adorned with tweed jackets as well. If it weren’t for those meddling kids he would have discovered some amazing witch stuff!!
I will tell you I have no idea why this book has to be set in 1991. Except that it allows the characters to not have cell phones and therefore everything in life is more difficult – like when you are in danger without a cell phone it is so much scarier.  Also, without the internet you had to actually do more research in a library which is indeed spooky.

I think this is Ms. Howe’s first book so maybe her next one will be better.   Until then, on to the next book and old Scooby Doo reruns.


Image via Wikipedia




Entry filed under: November 2011 reads. Tags: , , .

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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.


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