Thursday, February 25, 2021

Review: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

The Lost Apothecary
by Sarah Penner

Publisher: Park Row
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.

Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

Kritters Thoughts:  Told from three perspectives, two from 1791 and one from present day.  In 1791 there is a female apothecary who inherited an apothecary business from her mother and she has changed the business a bit and her life takes a turn when a young girl, Eliza walks into her shop.  Eliza is the second perspective from 1791 as she is sent to get help from the woman she works for from the apothecary and she will set all sorts of things in motion!  The present day perspective is Caroline and she has gone a trip that was intended to be an anniversary trip and instead ends up being a solo vacation, but her story is still uplifting as she finds herself and her passion for history when she finds something mysterious in the Thames river.  

I love a historical fiction book that has a present storyline where you know the link between the two stories pretty early on in the book.  I don't love to have the mystery go on for too long and it overshadow the true story - not the case in this one.  The reader quickly knows why Caroline's storyline is in this book and her investigation was fun to follow.  I wish I could do what she did in this book and find an artifact and follow it until you uncover truths.  

Although I don't love a book where there is marriage strife, especially the cheating husband kind, I could look over it in this one as it didn't take complete center stage, instead for me the story really revolved around Nella the apothecary and the things she did for the women of her time.  

What a great historical fiction that took place at a unique moment in time, with a splash of present day to help move the story along.  And I found out after finishing, this was a debut, so I am hoping for much more from this author in the future!

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 13 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Harlequin.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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