The Lost Apothecary is an imaginative and intriguing mystery enshrouded with exhilarating content. We are first brought into the dark and sinister world of Nella. Author Sarah is prolific in her description, and we can feel the excruciating pain Nella experiences as the evil actions she ensues are rotting her from the inside out. Her character and behavior development are slowly laid out until we have a complete picture of the evolution of her current status, including from her childhood to her present day, in February 1791. I particularly like how Sarah drew you into the inauspicious world of forty-one-year-old Nella Clavinger. Yet, a feeling of empathy and compassion for this woman develops immediately.
Twelve-year-old Eliza Fanning is a colorful and confident young girl who adds youthfulness and vitality to Nella's ominous persona. She is likable instantly and adds a twist to the initial darkness about Back Alley. She is a welcomed balance to the storyline and most definitely unexpected as the next name to be inked onto the infamous register. Sarah spent a befitting amount of time developing Eliza's history and experiences, leading to the initial meeting at the apothecary.
Sarah cleverly added a present-day London aspect to the story, which introduces Caroline Parcewell on her 10th-anniversary celebration, yet alone. This present-day aspect gives flavor and dimension to the 18th-century opening storyline. It is insightful to picture all of the historical landmarks mentioned throughout the tale, both from 1791 and the present day. As represented above, Sarah also included a map of London and access to the " Apothecary of Poisons" list with ingredients and preparations of "Nella Clavinger" from early 1791. All these aspects are a fun way to draw you into the London tale, keep you turning pages until the last one, and create the desire for Sarah Penner to delve into a follow-up to The Lost Apothecary.
While the vivid language instantly transported me into this world, I found it peculiar that there were so many belly aches and stomach ailments throughout the pages. Other than that, I found it very difficult to pinpoint any critical aspects of this story. The Lost Apothecary is fun, dark, mysterious, and extremely enjoyable.
I would highly recommend The Lost Apothecary to readers interested in historical and mystery fiction genres and even those who would like to see women with a little edge. It is also a tale that appeals to readers who enjoy binding friendships and colorful and thought-provoking content, leaving them seeking more. The Lost Apothecary may also appeal to readers like me with an apothecary/pharmacy/chemistry connection, especially from a historical perspective. Somehow, this is always a little fascinating.
Based on the Rating system as defined in the ABOUT section of A Book in Time:
-Was it easy to visualize the book's setting and character development? YES
-Was there a recognizable plot? YES
-Was it fresh and creative with an "intrigue" factor? YES
-Was it hard to set the book down; did the mystery capture my attention? YES
-Did it leave a lasting impression that is worth sharing with others? YES
Therefore, The Lost Apothecary has received a 5 YES Rating from A Book in Time.
ANCIENT APOTHECARY'S OATH
"I swear and promise before God, author and Creator of all things, never to teach ungrateful persons or fools the secrets and mysteries of the trade. Never to divulge the secrets confided to me. Never to administer poisons. To disavow and shun as a pestilence, the scandalous and pernicious practices of quacks, empirics and alchemists and to keep no stale bad drug in my shop. May God continue to bless me so long as I continue to obey these things."