Published by Park Row on March 2, 2021
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About The Lost Apothecary
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.
In the present day, Claire uncovers her husband’s affair just before they’re supposed to leave on an anniversary trip to London. She decides to go on the trip alone to figure out what’s next for her.
Nella is an 18th-century apothecary who serves only women clients. She seeks to heal her heartbreak caused by her lover’s betrayal by helping other women. Even when that means offering them poison for the cruel, abusive men in their lives.
Eliza is a young maid whose mistress sends her to Nella for a poison to kill the master of the house.
Mudlarking on a whim, Claire finds an apothecary’s vial and starts researching it, twining together her story with Nella and Eliza’s.
My thoughts about The Lost Apothecary
This debut is skillfully written as Sarah Penner weaves together multiple narrators and the dual timeline. Each character was developed with her own voice – I was never confused about whose point of view I was reading about.
I loved all of the descriptions of the herbs and their uses. I hate when authors feel the need to show off the research they’ve done by giving you an information dump. I never once felt like that while reading The Lost Apothecary
Do you enjoy books with multiple characters and timelines? Let me know in the comments below.
If you enjoy modern-day characters researching an item from the past that leads to self-discovery, try The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.
Sarah Penner’s debut has a gorgeous cover that hints at the mesmerizing tale of multiple women in dual timelines and the apothecary’s bottle that ties them together.
Thank you to NetGalley and Park Row for the ARC.