Sunday, 21 February 2021

#Review The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner


A book and author to watch out for in 2021. The Lost Apothecary is published 2 March 2021 by Legend Press.

About the book

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.


Caroline is on the run from her marriage and searching for some kind of anchor. It's a reevaluation of what her life has been up to this point, which has always been as the support system to her successful husband. There was no room for her own aspirations and dreams, perhaps it is time to start making choices with herself in mind. 

Whilst searching for some sign and link to the next steps she happens upon a connection to the past. To a story of strong women willing to risk their lives to help other women in a time and society where oppression and subjugation were the norm for all women.

In the past, in eighteenth-century London, Nella has taken her mother's gift of healing and her shop to establish something akin to an underground network to help women in dire need. She has evolved the healing into something quite extraordinary, but perhaps also into something morally and ethically questionable. Then again it depends on the perspective and the person doing the questioning, right?

I loved this story and am surprised it isn't getting more attention. The author is clearly a talented storyteller. The past and present are fused together with a sense of magical realism and also one of staunch sisterhood, which can be felt beyond the years and centuries. There is an engrossing balance between historical fiction and contemporary read. Definitely a book I will be recommending.

Buy The Lost Apothecary at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Legend Press pub date 2 Mar. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.

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