Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Suspense is Killing You, Right?

Well, I've given you enough time to complete the book before I spill the magic beans. (See my last posting.)  Actually, I finished The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane a day after my last blog because I just had to see how clairvoyant I really am.  Awesome! So how come I cannot predict lottery numbers?  Maybe it only works with book plots.  I also guessed the mystery behind The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but that's another story.

This book ultimately disappointed me, but I will give the author a break because this is her first stab at it.  I also give her props for using her family history while not making it the centerpiece of the story.  Her ancestor was one of the victims of the Salem witch trials, and she is included as a character briefly.  What started out as a potentially good book veered off into a mild-mannered love story and a rather wacky academic horror show.  Katherine Howe did employ a neat trick with the search for Deliverance Dane's book, and I thought the hanging scene from the witch trials was well done and affecting.  The climax reminded me a bit of the filmed version of The Witches of Eastwick, so I had a silly picture in my mind of Jack Nicholson, wax figures, and desperate dames. For someone so brave and sure of her powers with a witch's pot and a fireplace, Connie turned back into a wimpy female at the end, all too happy to watch fireworks with her boyfriend rather than to make them.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lots of Predictions Already for This One!

Everybody loves a good spellbook, and I was hoping that The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe would put a spell on me.  After all, it has those good New England elements of briny sea air, Salem witch trials, a long-abandoned colonial home complete with Queen Anne furniture (!) and a dimly brilliant Harvard graduate student (female!) who is searching for a swell topic for her thesis.  Okay, I can work with that, but don't push my buttons.  Oops, the author just did. 

Connie,  our Harvard heroine, appears to take life as it is without much questioning.  But inquiring minds want to know:  Why are there luscious tomatoes growing on the overgrown, vine-covered property of her deceased grandmother (Granna) whose house Connie must tidy in order to sell it?  Why is mail still being delivered to this abandoned house and why is it on a table in the house when Connie first arrives?  Why doesn't Connie notice the cold, hard stare and increasingly maniacal control of her thesis advisor?  Why does Connie have visions of the past as if it's the present and not run to see a neurologist or at least question her apparent talents?

So, now I am about half-finished with this book (exactly where you'd expect me to be) and I am ready to make some predictions!  Can't say "spoiler alert" because, hey, they're just my predictions. 

Prediction #1 - the garden is magickal, of course, perhaps under its own spell!  Did Granna have something to do with this?  We don't know much about Granna yet except that she left behind a whole mess of bottled herbs and potions in the kitchen, plus a significant clue, a key with Deliverance Dane's name attached to it.  Which leads to....

Prediction #2 - Connie comes from a long line of women with paranormal abilities!  Her mother, a Santa Fe resident, can see people's auras,  Granna grew all those herbs and put up all those bottles, and Connie has the ability to see visions from the past.  Deliverance Dane, the 1691 character accused of witchcraft, had a daughter, Mercy,  who also practiced the healing arts like her mother.  Mercy in turn had a daughter,  Prudence, who was a midwife. All this leads to....

Prediction #3 - Connect the dots...Connie is the umpteenth generation of females from this "bewitched" line of Deliverance Dane's!!  Sounds good, at least. 

Prediction #4 - Connie better get her aura in order because I think there will be trouble brewing with her thesis advisor who is probably reptilian and maybe even Beezlebub himself!  He seems to be mighty interested in finding Deliverance Dane's book of healing/magick recipes.  Meanwhile, Connie has developed a crush on young mister handsome and helpful who just happens to have a master's degree in preservation studies. How nice for her! 

Let's see how all this turns out!  More later.

Everybody!...Nobody?...I'm Back!!!

Hah! Life thought it could get in my way, which it actually did pretty well for a while, but I have judo-chopped my way back and am ready to slice and dice about my half-finished books. On to the next victim!