Barbara Blaskowsky started the topic The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane – recent bestseller in the forum Ancient Media: Books 10 years, 8 months ago
Just finished this book last weekend. I’m quite fond of historical fiction and haven’t read anything from this time period (I was big on Henry XIII, and then Regency for about five years).
The book juxtaposes a Harvard graduate student in 1991 researching the name “Deliverance Dane” that she discovers in an old key at her grandmother’s house with the Salem Witch Trials in the 1690s. Of course, there is some tie-in between her family history and the Trials (no surprise here). The back and forth between past and near-present time is handled deftly; details are generously drawn for both the 1690s and the 1990s (back when you did research by hand, not on the Internet, and had to use a -gasp- payphone). I did have a beef with the descriptions of Harvard, only because the author was an actual Harvard graduate student, so I felt like these portions were rather lazily written from memory rather than created through imagination.
Though I’m glad to see a solid book like this become a best seller – and reawaken interest in the Salem Witch Trials, the ending was very disappointing – a little too theatrical for my taste. The book starts off as a strong A- and ends up in C+ territory. A enjoyable read, but just prepared for the pat Hollywood ending.
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