Fantasy, Fiction


Rating: 5 out of 5.


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.

With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.

My Take:

There is a reason this was nominated for Book of the Month’s Book of the Year Award. The story is both complex and fast paced. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.

I was a little concerned initially by the themes in the book. After all, it features a character who creates poisons to kill husbands. However, by the end of the tale everyone has learned a valuable lesson about forgiveness and finding your place in the world. It was so beautifully done that I had trouble believing this was written by a debut author.

Overall, I can’t wait to see what Sarah Penner writes next.


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