"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Scholars disagree about the causes of the Salem Witch Trials but it is generally agreed that the causes weren't actually about witches.  The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe considers the question, what if one of the reasons for the Salem Witch Trials was because there were actual witches working their magic at the time? Katherine Howe, who is an actual descendant of two women arrested during the Salem hysteria and a graduate student in American studies, started writing this book after a long walk with her dog where she thought about this question and wondered, "what if.."

The book really works. It bops back and forth between 1991, when a doctoral candidate is casting about looking for a topic for her dissertation, and 1692 when Deliverance Dane was being tried as a witch. Unlike many books where there are time frame shifts, this book is not confusing and the reader is always clear who is the subject of the given passage.  There is a big mystery that eventually reveals itself and a few tense moments that add a bit of drama to an already exciting story.

After receiving only a cursory examination of the Salem Witch Trials in school I appreciated the history provided in this book to the actual events of those days.  My husband and I listened to this audiobook on our return trip from California. Katherine Kellgren did a phenomenal job narrating the book, though at times she had a bit of trouble with the Boston accent which played a part in the storyline. One advantage to listening to audiobooks with family members is the ability to stop the book and discuss it at any given point. Don prefers nonfiction but enjoyed this book a lot because of the history within. I thought it was just a well-told story one worth reading. I want to give a shout out to one of my students, Kayla V. She recommended the book to me and urged me to buy a copy for our library, which I did. Take a look at the trailer.  It think it adds to the book's intrigue.

20 books in July Reading Challenge

5 / 20 books. 25% done!

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm...I know very little about the Salem witch trials. This may be a way to pique my interest. May check to see if our library has the audio book. Thanks for the rec.


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