Connie Goodwin is an expert on America’s fractured past with witchcraft. A young, tenure-track professor in Boston, she’s earned career success by studying the history of magic in colonial America—especially women’s home recipes and medicines—and by exposing society’s threats against women fluent in those skills. But beyond her studies, Connie harbors a secret: She is the direct descendant of a woman tried as a witch in Salem, an ancestor whose abilities were far more magical than the historical record shows.
When a hint from her mother and clues from her research lead Connie to the shocking realization that her partner’s life is in danger, she must race to solve the mystery behind a hundreds’-years-long deadly curse.
Flashing back through American history to the lives of certain supernaturally gifted women, The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs affectingly reveals not only the special bond that unites one particular matriarchal line, but also explores the many challenges to women’s survival across the decades—and the risks some women are forced to take to protect what they love most.
I loved The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, and I was so excited when I saw that Katherine Howe had written a new book as a sequel to Constance’s story. I read this one eagerly and quickly, and really loved it.
The story picks up ten years after the first, and Constance is a professor working on tenure. She is still with Sam and while they are having some ups and downs in their relationship, they are still solid. However, her family has a secret, one that she must find the cure for before time is up.
I loved how this book flashed back through the decades to Constance’s ancestry, all the way back to Deliverance herself. We see glimpses of what the women of her bloodline have lived through, and how their family history has affected them. I loved seeing these small hints of the past, and it reminded me somewhat of Anne Rice’s Witching Hour, and reading the Talmasca history of the Mayfair Witches. (one of my favorite books ever, btw)
In between these introductions to Connie’s past, we are caught up with Connie and her race to find the answers she needs. Zazi, the student that she mentors, is a great addition to this story and I loved her presence and interests. Her character widens the range from the New England Puritan witchcraze to the south and voodoo and other forms and studies of witchcraft. I really hope that we get a book about her!
My only complaint really about this book is that it lacked a certain sense of urgency. I know we were supposed to feel that the situation was urgent and dire, but it didn’t really feel that way, until all of a sudden it was, if that makes sense. I could have used a little more build up besides the exposition of being told that it was urgent. Otherwise, I loved this book. I love books about academia and witches so this one was right up my alley, and well done. A great book to start the spooky season, as it was not really spooky but definitely supernatural!