The book started off okay, but then it went off the rails. It starts off as a historical fiction, but it moves squarely into the realm of fantasy about half way through the book. The romance isn't terribly compelling, yet we are supposed to believe that the main character's love for the boy is the driving force behind everything else. Likewise, the villain character makes no sense whatsoever, and his motivation requires more suspension of disbelief than the witchcraft.
Great book...I love historical fiction and this one delivered...there are enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting to finish the book so you know what happens...I really enjoyed the seamless transition from 1991 to the 15th & 16th centuries...and you fall in love with the characters...I highly recommend this book...and because it is relatively clean I have also bought it and given it to my 14 year old book worm of a niece...
I liked this book a lot. It was recommended to me by Audible based on a previous listen: "A Discovery of Witches". I liked "discovery" better, but still really enjoyed this listen.
The book has a similar, creepy feeling. Not scary at all, just a feeling that something could be lurking around the next corner.
I would also compare this book to two others - well one book and a movie. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane could be compared to National Treasure (not sure if its a book) - in some ways. It is similar in that it involves a search for something historical and there are a series of clues to unravel. I really enjoyed the look into history this book offered - albeit it highly fictional. I still felt I learned something about the Salem Witch trials and 'cunning' people of that day.
I think my favorite part was the going back and forth to different women in time, and thus my comparison to a third story: Joy Luck Club. In Joy Luck Club I enjoyed the understanding that steadily grew through the story as we learned more about each woman. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane has that same feel to it - although it does not go as indepth about each woman. What we readers get is glances or flashes back in history that give insight into the current day. The connection to the past gains more momentum and meaning as the book moves on, which is why I think some reviewers say they thought the beginning of the book moved slowly.
When deciding to read this book I read some reviews. One person commented that the current day character was dull in comparison to the people of the past. I can understand that comment, but I wanted to offer a different opinion. I felt the current day character becomes more interesting as she becomes more connected with her past. I like that!
Anyway - good solid book. If you liked "Discovery of Witches", "National Treasure" and "Joy Luck Club" - this is a good book for you!
This book has some interesting ideas about the causes of the Salem witch trials but unfortunately degenerates into an overwrought supernatural thriller. After its pseudo-scholarly beginning, this is was not what I was expecting or had hoped for. While some interesting details of the trials are included, be aware that some of the author's so-called “facts” are inaccurate or have been discredited by current historical research.
Some books you start reading and put it down and hope someone will take it. But, this book is not one of those. Excellent read if you like two stories in one book. Loved every minute of it.
The Physic of Deliverance Dane is a really compelling story. It's well written and the narrator Katherine Helgren does a good job of all the character voices.
I had to fast forward, used lots of words to basically say nothing and not add anything to the plot. The book went at a snails pace and then went nowhere.I was very disappointed, seemed like it would have been better.
The idea for this novel was good it's the way it is carried out that is a problem.The parallel story lines opened the story to a lot of repetition which quickly bothered me as I listened to this audiobook.The writer Kathrine Howe is also overdescribes when it really isn't necessary . I didn't really like the lead character Connie either . She was as other reviewers have wrote is dumb for a PHD candiate. For me honestly there were no characters that I cared about .It made it hard for me to get through the book.The author did a through job of researching the history of the witch trails that you can hear throughout the only really interesting story of the colonial witches.The endings for both stories were somewhat predictable. Overall this book is just okay ,nothing too exciting or mentally demanding.
Entertaining historical fiction that kept my attention despite the pretty silly caricature of Harvard U. and an ending designed for Hollywood. Kudos to the narrator. Shelved under "good airplane food."