Lost Apothecary
by Penner, Sarah






Secretly dispensing poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them, a London apothecary triggers unintended consequences that shape three lives across multiple centuries.





In the late eighteenth century, Nella owns an apothecary specializing in remedies for women, with a brisk side business in poisons. Her latest customer is Eliza, a servant girl charged with procuring poison for her mistress. Nella's dreams of motherhood were destroyed by a callous young man, and Eliza is curious about the intricacies of Nella's business. The two form a tenuous bond that quickly strengthens when Nella's livelihood is threatened. In the present day, Caroline's romantic anniversary trip to London becomes a solo sojourn because of her husband's infidelity. Determined to make the best of the situation, Caroline joins a mudlarking expedition and finds a mysterious bottle in the river. Her investigation into the bottle's provenance unravels the long-hidden mystery of Nella's apothecary, while also reminding Caroline of her pre-marriage dreams. Penner finds clever parallels between Nella and Caroline, and avoids the pitfall of one storyline outshining the other-all three women have compelling tales, and while Nella's business may not be on the up-and-up, her motives are understandable. Readers who enjoy Katherine Howe and Susanna Kearsley will be drawn to this promising, fast-paced debut. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





In the late eighteenth century, Nella owns an apothecary specializing in remedies for women, with a brisk side business in poisons. Her latest customer is Eliza, a servant girl charged with procuring poison for her mistress. Nella's dreams of motherhood were destroyed by a callous young man, and Eliza is curious about the intricacies of Nella's business. The two form a tenuous bond that quickly strengthens when Nella's livelihood is threatened. In the present day, Caroline's romantic anniversary trip to London becomes a solo sojourn because of her husband's infidelity. Determined to make the best of the situation, Caroline joins a mudlarking expedition and finds a mysterious bottle in the river. Her investigation into the bottle's provenance unravels the long-hidden mystery of Nella's apothecary, while also reminding Caroline of her pre-marriage dreams. Penner finds clever parallels between Nella and Caroline, and avoids the pitfall of one storyline outshining the other-all three women have compelling tales, and while Nella's business may not be on the up-and-up, her motives are understandable. Readers who enjoy Katherine Howe and Susanna Kearsley will be drawn to this promising, fast-paced debut. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.






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