The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
Another Goodreads recommendation home run! I absolutely adored the double story in one, which bridged a present-day mystery with the truth of hundreds of years ago.
First, there’s the “lost apothecary:” a double entendre representing an age-old mystery of “where did she go?” and the reveal of a woman who had truly lost her way.
Nella was a scorned woman who turned her back on her healing upbringing to pursue a life of poisonous intentions—though women were never the target; only men were. In this twisted way, she saw herself as helping women with deeper problems than physical ailments; she was saving them from misery and similar betrayal.
Then, there’s Caroline, a modern-day woman who finds herself alone on her 10th anniversary trip to London after finding out her husband cheated on her. But instead of touring the tourist hotspots, she gets caught up in researching a mysterious artifact: a vial that belonged to Nella. This begins a quest to unravel the truth of the owner of the vial, while opening doors to her own heart that were previously closed.
And then there’s Eliza, an unexpected apprentice, who played an interesting part as the story unfolded—one that I didn’t see coming (several times!).
It was a brilliant weaving of three women’s stories into one heartfelt connection.
I found myself rooting for Caroline, who was remembering lifelong passions and embracing who she truly was outside of the confines of a broken marriage. I resonated strongly with her struggle to break free from a toxic control and to start anew, fueled by this mystery that almost destroyed her, but in the end, saved her.
I loved watching the connections unfold. As Caroline would uncover another piece of the puzzle, we’d see the reveal from Nella or Eliza that pushed the truth forward. And then there were a few plot twists that made you hold your breath—giving an added depth to an already enriching story.
A wonderful, engaging read that lets you hone your own investigative skills while enjoying the journeys of three strong women who took different paths from heartbreak.
To hear more about my thoughts on and how I connected to Nella and Caroline, check out my video book review, Find Yourself in a Character:
To learn more about this week’s author, Sarah Penner, you can find her here: https://www.sarahpenner.com/
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