The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this book is wow. The imagery set forth is beautiful and the prose is profound. Julie Klassen weaves a story of emotion, and beauty. Of a young woman just trying to find her way in the world. When we first come upon Lillian Haswell (Lilly) she is a daughter who wishes to do what most daughters do at some time in their life, flee home. But as the daughter of an Apothecary she isnt sure how she will be able to do so. Enter the brother of her long missing mother Rosamond.
Lilly is given the chance to go to London and experience a season by her aunt and uncle. They will sponsor her and dress her, and al of the other wonderful things of a fine lady in London. The offer she was waiting for! Lilly takes it and spends two happy years in London, she is flirted with, courted and almost makes several matches. Until that is of course the men find out what her father does. At the end of two years however Lilly is called home to tend to her ill father.
We find a great many ups and downs in the story of Lillian and her family. Her father Charles is a kind hearted man with some secrets in his passed, who is ailing and desperately trying to be well enough so he can continue the business. Her brother Charlie is such a loveable character, he is a bit simple, but loving and he tries hard. He finds his love in gardening.
While the story has many tender moments that will make you cry I also enjoy some of the funnier. Lily has so many suitors she doesnt know what to do with them. Roger Bromley from London, the next baronet of her town, Roderick Marlow, Mr. Shuttelsworth, Dr.Graves and her fathers old apprentice Francis Baylor OH MY! You will not be left bored when reading this book. If youre a woman you will feel Lillys plight, living in a world where she knows the knowledge, enjoys the work and is good at it. But because she is a woman she is not allowed to practice openly. Because she is a woman she is supposed to rely on men, but they are all leaning on her!
The Apothecarys daughter is a coming of age story. You will follow the stories of everyone in the book, but mostly you stay with Lillian. She has heart ache, and confusion and happy moments too. This is a real story, and it sucks you in. You care about the characters, you love them. You begin to wish Lilly could go back to London, or should she stay home? You never know which would be better, not until the very end.
Julie Klassen does such a fine job with historical fiction! While I enjoyed her first book, "Lady of Milkweed Manor", she has surpassed her self with this book. Very well researched and well written, "The Apothecary's Daughter" is a real treat for readers. I recommend it highly.
Another incredible piece of historical fiction with strong characters from second published author Julie Klassen. Without a doubt, Klassen is on my favorite author's list. Both Lady of Milkweed Manor (her first book) and The Apothecary's Daughter were so enjoyable.
Each chapter starts with a quote of various pharmaceutical and apothecary means as well as a few others and it really sets the scene. It is something she also used in her first book, and I truly believe that it adds an incredible important element to the way her story is told. This book is divided up into sections that works quite well. It is a long book and fabulously so, I did not want it to end.
The one qualm that I did have, is that the last section is very dark to me. Everything that can go wrong is going wrong and it was a little much to experience all at once, when the rest of the book was much more light heart-ed. I feel kinda like if there was so more happiness in there with the dark toward the end that it would have worked better. Then it ends abruptly exactly as a perfect ending as it could be. My opinion would have been to draw it out with more details and more "happy" within the dark cloud, rather than having everything fixed in a last chapter and epilogue. But then we readers cannot get everything we want when fabulous authors are limited to just 400 pages or so.
Good points and bad, my overall opinion is that the story is fabulous. My favorite portion of all is where the name for the book came from. It makes me teary eyed. And you will just have to go read it to find out why.
Once again a winner from Julie in my opinion, and I desperately cannot wait for more books from her in the future!
This story had a lot of substance to it....It was a good read that kept you interested but also gave you history of the period. The medical society between Apothecary's, Surgeons and general medicine of the period is given life by the characters. Not a dull minute but many unexpected twists....ENJOYED IT!
It is an interesting story of a girl's dreams and hopes of a different life. It was interesting to learn about apothecaries and surgeons and that type of thing. Although I did enjoy the story, it seemed to have characters that didn't help the story really go anywhere. I also guessed the wrong man that she eventually chose, so that was a bit of a surprise. But a nice book to read.