22 April 2009

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

I received a copy of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane as part of the First Look Book Club program at Barnes and Noble Book Clubs online (I'm a reader-moderator for the "Literature by Women" group, too). The book is due for release on June 9 and I am terribly pleased with myself because I actually managed to finish a First Look book. I gave up on the last three because I just wanted to throw the copies against the wall in boredom/frustration.

Now, this is a first novel so I was trying to cut the author some slack and not expect quite so much out of it (high expectations may have been a problem with the last several offerings). As such, Deliverance Dane is a nice book, good to read for the summertime, light, with a little bit of mystery, romance (not the sappy or erotic kind), and magic. Connie Goodwin is a good leading lady, smart, determined, and disciplined with the requisite goofy parent (or so Connie thinks). The novel follows Connie's progress through the summer of 1991 while she prepares her dissertation topic and simultaneously tries to clean up and sell her grandmother's old house. The two plot lines inevitably intertwine leading to the denouement of the novel.

It is quite hard to talk about the inner workings of Deliverance Dane without spoiling too much of the story. In my opinion, this is because the author has done too much foreshadowing early in the book and I'm not exactly sure where I should draw the line on spoilers. Suffice to say that I had the endgame of the book figured out quite early and, while the descriptive part of the narrative was very nice, I was bored by the last fifty pages (I did finish). I was probably helped along in my deciphering by a good working knowledge of alchemy - I am the NDC for Alpha Chi Sigma Professional Chemistry Fraternity - history, Latin, and witchcraft; at times I felt a little ahead of Connie which made her look like she ought not to deserve her doctoral candidacy in history at Harvard University.

Overall, Deliverance Dane is quite nice to read. Good for a hammock and some lemonade if you have any handy.

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