Author: Sarah Penner
Publisher: Park Row
Released: March 2nd, 2021
Received: Own (BOTM)
Warnings: Affairs, assault, miscarriage, betrayal
The Lost Apothecary is one of those novels that I have heard SO much about lately; it was impossible to resist the temptation to put down everything I was doing and just read.
It is February 1791, and Nella’s latest customer is about to change everything. And not for the better. Nella is an apothecary, and while once her shop healed people, now it kills. However, Nella has a few set rules that she always follows, one of which being that nothing she makes will ever harm a woman.
Meanwhile, in present-day London, Caroline Parcewell was looking for an escape. Anything to distract her from her marital problems. Luckily, she came across an antique bottle that got the historian in her working overtime.
“To me, the allure of history lay in the minutiae of life long ago, the untold secrets of ordinary people.”
If you haven’t read The Lost Apothecary yet, you absolutely must add it to your list! I was worried that my expectations were set too high, thanks to all of the hype, but it turns out that I needn’t have worried.
The Lost Apothecary is an amazing work of historical fiction. It’s a novel that hits really close to home in so many ways. It’s powerful and beautiful and tells the story of a multi-generation battle to fight for the freedom and comfort of women.
Sarah Penner did such an outstanding job of capturing two very different worlds and bringing them to life here. The sheer amount of detail was a joy. You can really see just how much time she spent researching before she sat down to write this work of fiction.
As you might have guessed from the description, this novel is told from two different perspectives. One set in the past (Nella) and one in the present (Caroline). Their stories are so different and yet so very similar at the same time.
Better yet, by splitting the narrative and timeline into two, Sarah Penner managed to spread out the building of tension and intrigue. It was a compelling story, one that was difficult to predict how it was going to end.
“Healing by way of vengeance … no such thing existed; it never had. Hurting others had only injured me further.”
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. I absolutely adored the time I spent reading The Lost Apothecary. Perhaps that is why I was so surprised when I turned the page to find nothing left! I would have happily read another thousand pages of Penner’s enchanting writing. More, please!