Book Review: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Looking for your next read? Check out The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner, reviewed by Fulco Library staff, Anne A.

A budding historian solves a two-hundred-year-old mystery. Caroline travels to London alone on her tenth wedding anniversary trip after she finds out that her husband is having an affair. She discovers a small blue vial with a bear on it by the shore of the Thames River and decides to research its origins. As Caroline begins to delve into the past, the reader begins the parallel story of Nella, an eighteenth-century apothecary in London who dispenses remedies and poison to women whose men have wronged them. Nella’s solitary life changes when Eliza, a twelve-year-old maid, enters her shop to buy poison for her mistress. Eliza is fascinated with the shop and wants to help Nella mix tinctures. However, when she makes a mistake that jeopardizes Nella’s business and life, she must set things right with a remedy of her own. Meanwhile in the present, Caroline’s husband joins her in London hoping to reconcile and accidently gets poisoned. This incident along with her historical research makes Caroline reevaluate her life choices.

This book was a fast read with many plot twists that left me wondering what would happen next. As a history lover, I could relate to Caroline’s excitement as she discovers the apothecary’s story. Some readers might find it unbelievable that she was able to piece together the apothecary’s life in just a few days with limited knowledge of historical research. Others may believe that the author ties up the loose ends of both stories a little too easily. The ends of both stories have elements that aren’t entirely believable in real life.

The Lost Apothecary is available to be checked out at any Fulton County Library. It is also available as an audiobook and an eBook on Overdrive. Hoopla has it as an audiobook as well. Borrow this captivating novel tonight and explore a different time and place.

Check out The Lost Apothecary on Hoopla, Libby, or from your branch's shelves with your library card today!

The Lost Apothecary

The Lost Apothecary eBook

The Lost Apothecary eAudiobook

The Lost Apothecary eAudiobook

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This post is for educational purposes and the contents are not endorsed by the Fulton County Library System or Fulton County Government.