“Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.
Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.” – Amazon
I really enjoyed half of The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, but found myself skimming a lot of the modern day story. I did think the concept of the two timelines was interesting, and I can even overlook how far-fetched it was that Caroline solved the old mystery, what I didn’t enjoy was the repetition of Caroline’s questioning of the last 20 years of how she lived her life. It felt like this story belonged in another book, perhaps a romance or women’s fiction.
Being an herbalist, the tinctures and recipes that were included were very realistic as to how they can help or harm one’s life. The feminist aspect of The Lost Apothecary was very well written too. And the relationship between Nella and Eliza was a wonderful and touching part of the book.
Although I did find myself skimming large chunks, I would still recommend The Lost Apothecary since others may enjoy those sections more than I did, and I am looking forward to seeing if this turns into a series. I would read another book by Penner (especially if The Lost Apothecary becomes a series) to read more about Caroline’s research escapades and to see how her relationship with the librarian progresses… plus if it includes more about herbs, I’m all in!
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