This historical occult thriller (384 pages) was published in April of 2010 by Hachette Books. The book takes you to an abandoned mansion in Salem, Massachusetts. Melissa read The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.
This New York Times best seller embodies adjectives like spellbinding, beguiling, enchanting, and bewitching.
It begins in an abandoned mansion, just as a good story set in Salem, Massachusetts, should. Our heroine Connie Goodwin (note the subtle nod to infamous Salem witch trial victim Goody Proctor), is summering in witch town to finish her doctoral research. She’s also been recruited by her mother to sell her deceased grandmother’s decaying estate.
Whilst rambling through the house, Connie discovers an antique key inside a seventeenth-century Bible. Attached to the key is an aged slip of parchment inscribed with a name: Deliverance Dane.
Connie does what any alarmingly curious researcher would do: She begins a quest to learn everything she can about Deliverance Dane and the mysterious power of the physick book, thought to be a repository for lost knowledge. Her little detective project comes with unexpected side effects, including but not limited to, disturbing visions, library sleuthing, a touch of romance, and the growing realization that she and the legacy of the house might have more to do with Salem’s dark past than she knew.
Katherine Howe’s writing drives the story forward with a nicely coiled plot and end-of-chapter cliffhangers — all of which make the pages almost turn by themselves. The atmosphere is appropriately eerie, and the female characters of each generation of Connie’s family demonstrate their mettle (and witchy charm) through the centuries.
She was always puzzled that people say that darkness falls. To her it seemed instead to rise, massing under trees and shrubs, pouring out from under furniture, only reaching the sky when the spaces near the ground were full. — Katherine Howe
Don’t miss Katherine Howe’s latest The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs, the sequel to Deliverance Dane.
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is ©2023 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.