Booklist Reviews 2019 May #1
In historian Howe's follow-up to The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane (2009), Connie Goodwin, an expert in colonial-era magic, is now a tenure-track professor in Boston still deeply in love with Sam Hartley, the strapping steeplejack she met in Physick Book. Sam wants to marry Connie, but she fears it will be the end of him, quite literally, as the paramours of the women in her Massachusetts family, which include Deliverance Dane, have always died young under tragic circumstances. When Connie discovers that she's pregnant, she delves back into the long lineage of mystical women in her family, many of whom were suspected of witchcraft, reaching back to seventeenth-century Salem. Connie scours the history books, looking for an ancestress who managed to save her husband and discovers Temperance Hobbs, whose portrait hangs in Connie's mother's house and whose husband lived to be more than 100 in the nineteenth century. Howe, who shares her protagonist's legacy, weaves together stories of Connie's ancestors' attempts to harness their power and Connie's own race to save Sam's life in this spellbinding, satisfying tale. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2019 January #1
In a work harking back to Howe's New York Times best-selling The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, history professor Connie Goodwin studies the uses of magic in Colonial America (think herbal healing). Actually, she's descended from a Salem woman accused of witchcraft whose magic was more real than history allows.
Copyright 2018 Library Journal.
LJ Reviews 2019 May
Best-selling Howe returns to the world of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, in which Connie Goodwin, now a tenure-track professor, uncovers even more of her family history and its deep ties to the Salem witch trials. While conducting research about her ancestors, Connie unearths a curse that may jeopardize her boyfriend's life. As she gradually comes to understand her maternal bloodline, she learns how to break the spell, using magical abilities passed down to her. Howe also flashes back to Connie's female ancestors and how they overcame the odds to survive in colonial America. VERDICT Fans of Physick will find this sequel equally engaging, with answers to outstanding questions and some familiar characters. However, it's not necessary to have read the previous book or even be interested in witchcraft to appreciate the history of early America that scholar Howe brings to life. [See Prepub Alert, 12/6/18.]—Lucy Roehrig, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI
Copyright 2019 Library Journal.
PW Reviews 2019 April #5
In this slow-moving follow-up to her bestselling The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, Howe continues the tale of Connie Goodwin, a descendant of a Salem witch. The story is told through alternating timelines, one in Massachusetts in 2000, the other stretching from 1661 in England to 1816 Massachusetts. In 2000, 34-year old Connie is an assistant history professor at Northeastern University finishing a book on the history of witchcraft and putting together her tenure application. Once that's accomplished, she plans to marry her longtime boyfriend, Sam Hartley. Shocked by her unplanned pregnancy, Connie's startled when her mother, Grace, advises her to break up with Sam. It's the only way to protect his life, Grace reminds Connie—the husbands in their family die young. Both women believe it's a family curse connected to their female ancestors' magical proclivities. But Connie decides to find a witchcraft recipe that will save Sam's life. A mysterious key and a portrait of relative Temperance Hobbs—whose husband, Obadiah, lived to a ripe old age—may provide Connie with the answers she seeks. The earlier timeline traces the lives of Connie's female forebears, including Deliverance Dane, who was accused of witchcraft at the Salem witch trials. The story lacks tension, however, and the witchcraft angle doesn't do much to elevate it. Fans of the first book might enjoy catching up with Connie, but those encountering her for the first time won't find themselves bewitched. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME Entertainment. (June)
Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.