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  • History Repeats Itself

    I really loved the first book, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, and was excited to get my hands on this second installment. The story picks up a decade later with Connie and Sam, who are still together, as Connie is finishing up her book and applying for tenure at her university. The women in Connie’s family seem to be cursed, as their husband’s die once a daughter is born. When Connie finds herself with child, she fears losing Sam, but she knows she cannot live without him, so she is determined to find a way to beat the curse and live a long and happy life together. This book is filled with more flashbacks to the women ancestors in Connie’s family that date back to the Salem Witch trials. This is another magical story from the author and was well worth the ten year wait. It makes me want to go back to Salem and spend more time tracing my own Puritan family as well. You don’t need to have read the first book, this book stands alone. But if you did read the first one, there are some wonderful little nuggets that you will be excited over as they tie in to the first book with that insider knowledge. I may just have to read them both all over again.

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  • An awesome tale told well

    I adored the Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. It is the root that makes strange facts and fancies and possibilities pop into my mind when I am bored or sleepy. It is a book I intend to read again, and that will have to be soon. The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs is completely stand alone, but it is a richer, fuller tale with the background of the first book. In any case, I am certain that you will love it. I am happy to refer this fine novel to friends and family. Connie Goodwin is a smart, well-educated, almost-tenured professor in Boston, a well-versed expert on America's long criminal pattern of interaction with women thought to be witches over the centuries. She has a long-term companion in Sam Hartley, an in-demand steeple restorer across the eastern seaboard, a dog named Arlo who wiggled his way into her life and heart, an old worn Volvo wagon, and a crumbling apartment that houses both Connie and Sam's extensive book collections. Connie keeps her nose to the grindstone. Life can only happen after she finishes her book and achieves tenure. Period. Tenure can only happen if she gets her book finished and that can only happen if she can find the time to spend researching the Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. And if you read the first book, you know how hard that is going to be. Connie is the daughter of a hippie midwife named Grace Goodwin, who raised her only child on a commune in upstate New York. Grace is the only child of a midwife tarot reader named Sophia and was raised in an ancient hand-me-down house and garden on Milk Street in Salem, Massachuttes. Grace inherited the Milk Street house and plans to pass it on to Connie and Sam. And it is Grace who figures out that every generation of women in their recent line have lost their husbands to accident or illness as soon as there is an heir apparent. Most don't last until the birthing. Sam wants very much to marry, and make babies. He doesn't care about tenure, and doesn't know about the limited use history has had for the fathers of all these daughters. These witch daughters of the line of Temperance Hobbs. But there is a possible way out - Temperance herself was married to the father of her daughters - a man who lived to be 110. Maybe tenure can wait while Connie figures out how to make that happen. I received a free electronic copy of this historical novel from Netgalley, Katherine Howe, and Henry Holt & Company. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.

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