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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-05-12 22:18
Good Idea, Atrocious Execution
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane - Katherine Howe

 

The book has over 500 reviews on Amazon, with a 4.1 star average rating. The five-star ratings account for 41% of those, which is reasonably impressive.  My review isn't going to impact that very much, and that's not my intent.

 

This review will also be filled with spoilers. Consider yourself warned.

 

First major spoiler:  The dog is okay.  Nothing bad happens to him.  There's another spoiler about him later.

 

I finished the book, which is more than I do with many of the books I start.  Many of them don't hold me for two pages.  So there's that.

 

I liked the premise: Academic Connie Goodwin inherits her grandmother's old house in what was Salem Village, Massachusetts and goes on a search for a 300-year-old book with some connection to the Salem Witch Trials. 

 

The writing was competent, if a little heavy on the description.

 

That said, it wasn't long before I began to have problems even as I continued reading.

 

Connie is a young woman, in her early to mid 20s, and she has been in school virtually all her life.  The last few years in grad school have been by choice: she wants to continue to study and earn her PhD.  She doesn't come across, however, as a dedicated scholar.  Once she completes her oral exam and is cleared to begin her dissertation, she seems to forget all her academic training and lose all her scholarly motivation.  Is it because it's summer break?  It shouldn't be, because working on that dissertation should be her single primary focus now if she's truly dedicated to her scholarship.

 

However. . . .

 

She receives word from her mother Grace, a free spirit hippie type living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, that the house that had belonged to Connie's grandmother, Sophia, needs to be prepared for sale after sitting vacant for 20 years since Sophia's death.  Since the house is in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and Connie is at Harvard in Cambridge, she is delegated to the task for the summer.  She heads there with her roommate Liz and her dog Arlo.

 

There's no real explanation for why the place wasn't sold when Sophia died or why it's being sold now.

 

It was at their arrival at the house that I lost my willing suspension of disbelief (WSOD).

 

 

The rest of the very lengthy review is at

 

 

https://fearlesslyintelligent.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-physick-book-of-deliverance-dane-by.html

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review 2016-10-30 06:17
Book Review: The House of Velvet and Glass
The House of Velvet and Glass - Katherine Howe

Book: The House of Velvet and Glass

 

Author: Katherine Howe

 

Genre: Historical Fiction/Spiritualism

 

Summary: Boston 1915. Still reeling from the deaths of her mother and sister on the Titanic, Sibyl Allston is living a life of quiet desperation with her taciturn father and scandal-plagued brother in a town house in Boston’s Back Bay. Trapped in a world over which she has no control, Sibyl seeks answers in the depths of a medium’s crystal ball. When her brother is suddenly kicked out of Harvard under mysterious circumstances and falls under the sway of a strange woman, Sibyl seeks out psychology professor Benton Derby, despite an unspoken tension from their shared past. As they work together to solve a harrowing mystery, they realize that there may be something more magical between them than a medium’s scrying glass. From the opium dens of Boston’s Chinatown to the salons of high society, from the back alleys of colonial Shanghai to the decks of the Titanic, The House of Velvet and Glass weaves together meticulous period detail, intoxicating romance, and a final shocking twist that will leave the reader breathless. -Hyperion, 2012

 

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review 2016-10-27 15:56
The Penguin Book of Witches
The Penguin Book of Witches - Katherine Howe,Katherine Howe

Witches for Halloween Bingo of Course!

 

"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."  This one phrase from Exodus has shaped the lives of countess people throughout history, especially women.  The Penguin Book of Witches is a non-fiction account of Witchcraft from medieval England to the new Colonies.  Shedding light on the evolution of the trials of the witches themselves to the spread of fear in the new world, this is a comprehensive view of just how witches were accused and tried in the words of the  accused and afflicted. 

The Penguin Book of Witches examines historical documents and transcripts with explanations for each occurrence within its historical context.  While I enjoyed reading about the Salem trials, more interesting to me were the people tried before the hysteria.  In enjoyed reading these first hand accounts, even as the Old English threw me for a few loops, I definitely needed to keep flipping back to the notes section, but there was a lot of good information back there.   Whenever I read about witchcraft, I am always amazed at some of the parallels to persecution of women today. Among the similarities of the women accused were women of poor economic standing, women who were seen as attempting to gain power or women who practiced medicine.  Hopefully we can learn from the past and those who call us "nasty women" today won't begin the craziness again.

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review 2016-01-11 17:29
Katherine Howe "Zaginiona księga z Salem"
Zaginiona księga z Salem - Katherine Howe

Średniowieczna czarownica w drodze na sabat rozbierała się do naga. [...] Potem nacierała gołe ciało smarowidłem dającym moc latania, okrakiem dosiadała miotły, koniecznie ustawionej wiechciem słomy naprzód, bo tam było miejsce na świeczkę, żeby widzieć cokolwiek, kiedy lecisz w ciemnościach. Wreszcie wypowiadała zaklęcie i wylatywała przez komin.

Główna bohaterka powieści, Connie Goodwin to świeżo upieczona absolwentka Harvardu, która właśnie dostała się na studia doktoranckie. Podczas gdy promotor pogania ją z wyborem tematu pracy, ciągle przypominając, że musi znaleźć jakieś niezbadane dotąd źródło pierwotne, dzwoni do niej matka. Connie dowiaduje się, że jej babcia zostawiła po sobie dom, który teraz ma doprowadzić do porządku i sprzedać. Na miejscu okazuje się, że budynek zalegają tony kurzu, a w ogrodzie rosną trujące rośliny. Gdy Connie wyjmuje z regału Biblię, wypada z niej stary klucz. Wewnątrz znajduje się karteczka z imieniem i nazwiskiem: Deliverance Dane. Bohaterka odwiedza miejscowe archiwa i ze zdumieniem odkrywa, że była to nieznana dotąd czarownica z Salem, skazana na śmierć pod koniec XVII wieku. Co więcej, w spisie jej inwentarza figuruje tajemnicza księga, nazwana rejestrem przepisań. W poszukiwaniach dzielnie pomaga jej konserwator zabytków na wysokościach - przystojny Sam. Dochodzi jednak do wypadku, a jedyną osobą, która może go uratować jest właśnie Connie. Stan Sama ciągle się pogarsza, a dziewczyna ma coraz mniej czasu na odnalezienie księgi zaklęć. Czy zdąży?

 

"Zaginiona księga z Salem" to wyjątkowo wciągająca powieść. Ciężko się od niej oderwać i aż żal odkładać ją na półkę. Dwutorowa narracja, obejmująca 1991 rok oraz wybrane wydarzenia z lat 1681-1692, dodaje jej uroku. Powieść napisana przystępnie i z humorem. 

Szczerze polecam.

Source: ogrodksiazek.blogspot.com/2012/09/katherine-howe-zaginiona-ksiega-z-salem.html
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url 2015-06-26 12:56
lolantaczyta.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/zaginiona-ksiega-z-salem-katherine-howe
Zaginiona księga z Salem - Katherine Howe
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