Review: The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs By Katherine Howe

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

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 Hobbsaffectingly 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.

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Guest Reviewer Lisha’s Thoughts:

This latest novel by Katherine Howe is a follow up to The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. It takes place nearly ten years later from the events in the previous book. Connie is now back in Boston working as a professor at Northeastern University. It’s obvious she loves her job but she is struggling under the demands of completing her book while putting in for her tenure. During her research for her book she discovers a coded recipe from Deliverance’s physick. This recipe may be the key to the curse that haunts the women in Connie’s family.

I loved the juxtaposition between the academic study of witchcraft and the physical practice of magic. This was shown as the story flipped back and forth from Connie’s story in contemporary times to the stories of Connie’s female ancestors practicing their craft to help their families to survive. Additionally, we see women being judged to a different standard when it comes to seeking career advancement. In present day, Connie is faced with the struggle of juggling career with personal life. She ponders giving up career stability at Northeastern for a much sought after and more prestigious position at Harvard while she worries that she is neglecting her personal life with her boyfriend Sam. When Connie’s mother enlightens her to a possible danger to Sam’s life then Connie must race to find a solution using the magic of her family’s past to save her relationship with Sam.

While reading this book I had a hard time putting it down. I’m hoping there might be a third book in the works for this story line – three is a powerful number in magic after all!



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