As you can see, Fabio is not on the cover of this historical romance. A genre I haven’t read since high school, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be “sexy” (as my grandmother describes these kind of novels) or not. I was actually pleased to find out it was not. Although page turners, those books tend to be more on the trashy side and I really wanted to read something that kept the time period’s authenticity. Being a history teacher, I enjoy historical novels and appreciate the research authors have to do to make the story realistic.
The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen was exactly what I was looking for. Don’t you just love the word apothecary? I am a nerd, I know! Set during the Regency Era (early 1800’s) in a small village outside of London, the story is centered around 18 year old Lilly Haswell who works in her father’s apothecary shop but longs to see the the rest of the world. Her mother has abandoned her family without reason and Lilly is left to care of her father and her mentally challenged brother. She happily accepts an invitation to live with her aunt and uncle in London where she is expected to find a suitable husband. Once in London she tries to find out more information about her mother while also navigating higher London society which she is not accustomed to. The plot thickens when she has to go back to her village due to a family crisis.Where does the romance come into play? Lilly has several romantic interests throughout the book and it is not certain what the outcome will be until the end.
As a reader I could tell how much research Julie Klassen put into this novel, due to the extensive information about apothecary’s work and the different remedies of the time period. Not only did I enjoy the historical aspect but also the different plot twists and the unforeseeable ending. At the end of each chapter there is a quote from different authors and books of the era which relate to the plot. I definitely want to read more of her work. If you enjoy Jane Austen I think you would really enjoy this novel!