The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a great story! I loved this one and wished I could read late into the night to get to the next exciting turn of the page, but reading has a bad habit of putting me to sleep if done in bed at night.
Connie has work to do to complete her doctoral orals a daunting dissertation, and needs a primary resource, which her very demanding mentor/adviser Chilton Manning insists she complete as quickly as possible by finding a particular book. A very old book that has no definitive title, several authors, no actual publication date, may or may not even exist any more; so here is the journey our intrepid PhD candidate finds herself set to begin. Throughout the summer she’s charged with cleaning up the home her Granna and grandfather, Lemuel lived in, raised her mother Grace in until Grace couldn’t take it anymore and moved out abruptly in the 60s. The house fell into disuse, alone and neglected, but not rotting away as most home should do given similar circumstances. Between the work on the house, an overwhelming task in itself, and the preparations for her candidacy for professorship at Harvard (and undergrad work at Cornell) as she finalizes her PhD in Colonial History, she begins to notice strange things happening when she touches objects or repeats ‘receipts’ from the ‘almanack’ her female predecessors used, compiled and referred to through the 300+ years of its existence.
Sam, a knowledgeable enough guy in his own right, helps her when she must try to search through the endless archives of old libraries, historical files in museums, but that suddenly comes to an end when he falls and becomes gravely ill. She soon realizes she’s the only one who can save Sam and in so doing, will find the answers to many of the questions she has about her ancestors, the book in question, the strange events that continue to puzzle her, and the increasingly odd behavior of her adviser.
Absolutely riveting! I couldn’t, literally COULDN’T, put it down. I loved this story and it was written intelligently, not ‘dumbed down’ as so many stories these days have been.
If you enjoy a mystery, well written characters, and story lines, and something paranormal that isn’t cliche at all, this one is the clear winner! A new favorite author for sure! By an author with a very interesting pedigree of her own.
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