Friday Reads: Physick World by Katherine Howe

I recently devoured two fantastic books by Marblehead local, Katherine Howe. I’ve been telling everyone I can about them, so check them out!

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane tells the tale of a young woman who lives near Boston in the 1990s. Connie, a Harvard grad who studied American history, begins to work on her upcoming dissertation and learns a great deal about her mama and ancestors while doing so. While helping her hippy mama, who she has a complicated relationship with, close out the former home of her now deceased grandmother, Connie stumbles upon a small journal with the name Deliverance Dane on it. She learns that the journal is a magical collection of spells and through it learns that she has closer ties to the Salem Witch Trials than she ever could have imagined.

I loved this book for lots of reasons – a female protagonist, history of the Salem Witch Trials, modern witchcraft – #theseareafewofmyfavoritethings. Howe isn’t afraid of making sure readers know how intelligent her lead is – and I can’t get enough. There is no shame in her intelligence, no trying to lessen her education to please someone else. Connie is smart, gawd damn it, and she’s not afraid to share it. There is a bit of a love story involved, but it’s a far cry from a romance novel. AND – Connie’s love interest potentially (aka I’m about 99% sure) does steeple-work in a church building in Salem where my little girl went to preschool.

The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs is next up – both novels tell the stories of Connie’s modern life and the lives of her woman ancestors so it’s difficult to call it a sequel or a prequel. Recently released (like, June this year – yes, I pre-ordered it!), this continuation of Connie’s life after finding her Deliverance Dane’s book, tells the story of how Connie overcomes old-white-man-syndrome in her career and how she handles the complications that sometimes arise in a marriage (and how being a witch can complicate it…). Connie’s relationship with her hippy mama improves and we find out so, so, so much more about their ancestors. Connie still has no concerns about hiding her intelligence, and there’s a lot about having solid female friends as an adult ~ sign me up.


What are you reading this weekend? Show me your #fridayreads!