Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Apothecary's Daughter

The Apothecary's Daughter - Julie Klassen
411 pages
Rating: 4/5

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.
My Thoughts:
Can I just say that I am glad that I stumbled upon this book of Julie Klassen?  Beautifully written, nicely paced, and not too dramatic, I really enjoyed it.  My mom recommended it originally, and I'm glad that she persisted and made me read it.

The book centers around an apothecary's daughter (duh, see the title) and her experiences with life.  Klassen goes into detail about the apothecary's trade of the time, which I found incredibly interesting.  She also included the prejudices between doctors, apothecaries, and other people of trade as well as the prejudices between the people of class and those of the working class, which, I believe, really gives another level to the book .  It helps place one in the historical era and gives it a realistic aspect.

Lilly is a wonderfully sweet girl, and I really enjoyed reading about her romances.  I did not guess who she would end up with, in fact I guessed wrong.  The plot was not entirely predictable, and overall it was a fun read.  I gave it a 4/5 because I read it in an entire afternoon and really enjoyed it.  I could have taken a little bit more feeling from the characters, but I thought it was overall well written and a great read.  I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and historical romance.


  1. I have read this book and it is one of my favorite books ever. There is also another book that is as good as The Apothecary's Daughter, I think you should read the book called The Choice.