Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Apothecary's Daughter

Finished September 3
The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen

This historical novel is set in the early 1800s, mostly in Wiltshire, but also a bit in London. Lilly (Lillian) is the daughter of an apothecary in a small town in Wiltshire and recently turned eighteen. Her mother left the family unexpectedly and Lilly still watches the canal boats looking for her. Besides Lilly and her father is her younger brother Charlie, who has learning difficulties but is a kind and gentle boy. Lilly's best friend Mary works with her mother in their bakery. When Lilly's maternal aunt and uncle offer to bring her to London and introduce her to society, she jumps at the chance to see more of the world.
This novel is a tale of society of the time and what is frowned upon and what is lauded. It is also a tale of the apothecary world, of which I knew only the basics before this. It is also a bit of a romance between various characters, with the young people mingling and getting to know each other but being very careful about commitment. It definitely sets the novel in a particular historical period, and the characters are nuanced enough to provide an interesting story that isn't predictable.
I quite enjoyed it.

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