Friday, September 11, 2009

My Summer Vacation Bk. 1: Deliverance Dane

I should probably admit that I frequently judge a book by its cover. This was one of those cases. I had read a couple of reviews of this book and saw the pretty cover and on those facts, I requested it from the library.

I didn't read it. I returned it in the same condition as I found it, as it remained unopened. I'm not sure it even made it out of my car the first time around.

But there it was, on the shelf, waiting for me when I went in to raid the new books for a stack to bring with me on vacay. So I decided to give it another try.

There was a lot to get interested in: magic, a mystery. But then, there was the connection with Salem and the witch trials and the dour villagers who made up the town. I believe it was my brush with Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" which helped me to develop a deep and abiding love of Cliff's notes. I still remember how much I didn't like reading it. The only thing I remember more clearly hating is good ol' Billy Budd. Anyway, so I wasn't much enthused about the historical portion of our mystery, but that's just me. I can understand why others would be. And some of the mystery parts...there were points where I was speaking to the book, doing my best to help Connie along. I mean, not remembering that her name is Constance until the end? Uh, really? So that's what it takes to realize that you're descended from Deliverance, Mercy, Prudence, Temperance, and uh, your mother Grace? The one who works miracles with plants and auras? But OK, just because that was no mystery didn't mean that Connie's trail to find the missing book wasn't very interesting. It really was.

History says that the women who died condemned as witches were basically in the wrong place at the wrong time. This book asks...what if they were really witches? Or at least one?

And the other thing that is so interesting about this book is that it is so tied to and illustrates the difficulty and the importance of women's history. And the clever punch at the end is good. Very good. I don't want to give it away but reading the story of these women and Connie's struggle to find them was the reason I kept reading. And there in the end...the payoff.

So, whether or not to say "read this" is a little difficult. It's so far out of my normal path that I don't have much to compare it to, but if you like some solid history in your literature and you haven't already had an unsatisfactory encounter with the Salem witches, go for it. There's even a little romance. Even with all the challenges this held for me, I finished it. Even on vacation. When I didn't pay one penny for it, so there's something to the story. And it has such a pretty cover!

The history was all fine and stuff, but for my next selection, I went fantasy.

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