Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Lost Apothecary

 This debut novel by Sarah Penner is a wonderful mix of historical fiction with a touch of fantasy.  I original discovered this book while reading the Book Pages magazine from my library.  The book sounding interesting so I placed a hold on it prior to its release at the beginning of March.   I am glad I did.  

The author did a wonderful job of interweaving a historic "mystery" with a modern investigator.  Caroline and Nella are both women who were betrayed by men they loved, only 300 years apart.  It is a timeless tale that is  captured in contrasts between the options available to  women of the 18th century versus the modern era.  Both are strong women who found their way to move forward in the face of adversity.  Each found a new purpose and quest.  

The story had a very little bit of fantasy/supernatural that was presented in both times in the dual timeline.  It is up to the reader to decide whether there were other magical forces at work or just the coincidence of the universe.   Either way the tale that is woven is very engaging and a great combination of timelines and multiple points of view of 3 very different women.

The Lost ApothecaryThe Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This debut novel does a wonderful job of mastering a dual timeline and 3 female points of view. I appreciated the contrasts of how similar misfortunes for women are represented in the 2 timeframes. Women in 1790s had very little recourse if their marriages were destroyed versus 2020. I enjoyed how the themes of betrayal and self definition was presented in both Caroline and Nella. The innocence of Eliza is such a wonderful contrast but her wiseness beyond her years was also well developed. I enjoyed the ending and how you weren't sure if there was supernatural elements at play in both the 18th and 21st centuries. This book was an unexpected pleasure and I am glad I discovered it in a book publication previewing it before its release.

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Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #35
  2. Alphabet Soup Author Edition #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge  "P"
  3. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #43
  4. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #48
  5. Historic Fiction  #histficreadingchallenge   Book #5
  6. BooklistQueen   # 22. A Highly Anticipated Book
  7. A Pretty Mess Challenge # 14. A book everyone is talking about
  8. Nerd Daily  #NERDREADING2021 #3. GOLD ON COVER
  9. Magic in the Books Book 5 #1 Read a fantasy novel 
  10. Pick your Poison #17-3 A book with a shape on the cover that reminds you of a Rorschach test
  11. Bloggers Bookshelf   #bloggersbookshelf #7 with foiling on the cover
  12. Monthly Keyword #MonthlyKeyWordGXO-  "Lost"
  13. Uncorked Reader #UncorkedReading2021  Historical Fiction Novel Featuring Inspiring Women
  14. Diversify your reading #DYRC21  Historical Fiction 
  15. Medical Examiner Challenge  3 Toe Tags
  16. Unruly Reader Bingo  #3 eye catching

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