Thursday, April 16, 2015
The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen
Lillian Haswell, brilliant daughter of the local apothecary, yearns for more adventure and experience than life in her father's shop and their small village provides. She also longs to know the truth behind her mother's disappearance, which villagers whisper about but her father refuses to discuss. Opportunity comes when a distant aunt offers to educate her as a lady in London. Exposed to fashionable society and romance as well as clues about her mother Lilly is torn when she is summoned back to her ailing father's bedside. Women are forbidden to work as apothecaries, so to save the family legacy, Lilly will have to make it appear as if her father is still making all the diagnoses and decisions. But the suspicious eyes of a scholarly physician and a competing apothecary are upon her. As they vie for village prominence, three men also vie for Lilly's heart.
First, it was obvious this book was well-researched. The historical details permeate the book, even impacting the character’s goals and lives. The idea of a book centered around the apothecary business in the early part of the 19th century was unusual. I have not seen it done before, and it is excellently done in this book.
The love triangle kept me guessing until the very end. Klassen peels the layers of these men away, and while none is particularly bad, and all have qualities that could be heroic, there is only one in particular that you are rooting for by the end. I will say no more for fear of spoiling the ending, and this ride is just too delicious to do that to a reader. I will also say that Klassen’s ability to depict a near sensual feel between her main characters without ever having them kiss is something few authors can manage and more should try to emulate. (Another I have read that can do this kind of writing between her hero and heroine is Catherine Palmer.) The result is a steamy romance that is pure in heart, largely because it is built on the actions of the hero and his care for the heroine.
The one thing that was off-putting, and it was not the author’s fault, was the number of mistakes (in the kindle edition). I was a bit disappointed in a major publishing house to be so careless. There were at least five instances when a space should have been placed between a shift in character viewpoints, and there were a number of other spelling errors or words that were left out. It jarred me, the reader, when I would not have been jarred otherwise. Shame on the publisher for such oversights.
Regardless, this was such a good book I was disappointed it was as its end, and I was finding myself thinking of it several days after it was over.
A must, must read for anyone who like Christian and/or historical fiction. An easy, peasy 5 roses, and I will be reading more of Klassen in the future!
Thanks for visiting, Rose, Julie, Donna & Rochelle
Length: 416 pages
Prices: Print $12.15