Thursday, December 30, 2010

Book review: The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

I had high hopes for this book. It's the story of a woman in present-day Marblehead, Mass., dealing with the sale of her grandmother's colonial-era home while working on her doctoral dissertation. As she's cleaning out the house, she discovers an ancient family Bible belonging to Deliverance Dane. Further research leads her to learn that Deliverance was hanged for a witch during the Salem witch trials - and that she left behind a book of "receipts" or recipes for spells and healing potions.

Add in a local repairman for romance, a mysterious bad guy, the hunt for the lost Physick book and blurring lines between physick and magic, and you have the plot in a nutshell. It was the plot that intrigued me, and I did like the way the focus switched back and forth between present-day and 17th century Massachusetts. It's obviously well-researched.

However, I found it too predictable. It was no secret to anyone but Connie, the heroine, who the bad guy was. No surprise how the end played out. In fact, it was a bit of a disappointment. So much potential, only to fall apart at the payoff.

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