The Lost Apothecary
I know it’s been a hot minute since I wrote a book review. Honestly, I took on extra responsibilities at work that sucked up all my free time. I’ve missed reading for fun! But now I’m back with plenty of new books to talk about and I’m excited to share the good, the bad, and the ugly ones with you (at least, IMO). Let’s start with a decent one. “The Lost Apothecary” is a historical fiction novel that takes place in both Victorian and present-day London. In the present, recently divorced Caroline finds a vial while digging around on the banks of the River Thames. Using a symbol on the bottle as a clue, Caroline discovers that it’s connected to the string of unsolved murders in eighteenth-century London known as the “apothecary murders.” Flashback to then, Nella is an apothecary working in secret, providing poison to women who want to kill the men in their lives who harm them. But things start to get complicated when Nella meets Eliza, a young girl with demons of her own. The past and the present stories start to intertwine as the reader learns more about each woman and the ways they push against what society tells them they can and cannot do. I enjoyed this book, but maybe that’s because I read it during the pandemic when I needed an escape and this book provided that. I’ve read mixed reviews on it from Goodreads and heard back-and-forth from my friends; some thought it was dry, others not. I will admit that I did enjoy the past characters more than the present and found myself skimming through Caroline’s story to get back to Nella’s and Eliza’s, but overall this was an interesting, quick read for me. I know, not a ringing endorsement but still a good book.