The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, one of my recent Book of the Month picks, was definitely an interesting book, just not amazing.  This is a dual-timeline story and I loved the 1790’s timeline.  In it, Nella has followed in her mother’s footsteps and become an apothecary for other women and their ailments.  Over time she realizes that some women need help getting rid of what I’ll call human ailments – husbands, fathers, brothers, etc and she expands her business to include “cures” for that.  It is a dark, stressful life she lives which is further complicated when a new client is a 12 year old girl, Eliza, who is also very inquisitive and persistent.  Will Eliza provide some light to Nella’s life or possible destroy them both?  I was not as taken with the present-day timeline but it worked in the end.  In it, Caroline ends up on vacation in London alone after finding out her husband was cheating on her.  She needs some time to figure out what she wants to do with her life, and during a mudlarking excursion she finds a glass vial that intrigues her so much that she wants to research where is might have come from.  Her research is slowed when her husband shows up to try to apologize, but she eventually figures some things out – both about the vial and herself.

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