THE APOTHECARY'S DAUGHTER
As Lilly toils in her father's apothecary shop, preparing herbs and remedies by rote, she is haunted by memories of her mother's disappearance. Villagers whisper the tale, but her father refuses to discuss it. All the while, she dreams of the world beyond -- of travel and adventure and romance.
When a relative offers to host her in London, Lilly discovers the pleasures and pitfalls of fashionable society and suitors, as well as clues about her mother. But will Lilly find what she is searching for -- the truth of the past and a love for the future?
I SLIPPED INTO LILLY'S WORLD THE MOMENT I OPENED THE APOTHECARY'S DAUGHTER. KLASSEN'S VIVID DESCRIPTIONS COMBINED WITH A RIVETING PLOT AND A MULTITUDE OF EQUALLY AS INTRIGUING SUBPLOTS KEPT ME IMMERSED IN THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY FOR THE DURATION OF THE READ.
LILLY IS BOTH A VEXING AND ENDEARING CHARACTER WHO GROWS INTO WOMANHOOD THROUGH THE COURSE OF THE BOOK . THERE WERE TIMES WHEN I GREW A BIT VOCAL IN MY PROTESTS AS I FOLLOWED LILLY'S 'ESCAPE' TO LONDON, KNOWING THAT SHE WOULDN'T FIND WHAT SHE WAS SEEKING THERE AMONGST THE PRIVILEGED AND WEALTHY.
AND SHE KEPT ME ON EDGE AS SHE DEVELOPED FRIENDSHIPS WITH VARIOUS GENTLEMEN. WHICH SUITOR WOULD SHE CHOOSE? AND WOULD HE BE THE BEST CHOICE FOR HER? KLASSEN DID A WONDERFUL JOB OF FLESHING OUT THESE FRIENDSHIPS, DEVELOPING VIABLE RELATIONSHIPS THAT EACH HAD MERIT. IT KEPT ME ON MY TOES TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHO SHE'D END UP WITH...AND THEN WORRYING OVER IT WHEN I'D MADE MY DECISION BEFORE LILLY DID!
IN FACT KLASSEN EXCELS AT CREATING MEMORABLE CHARACTERS THAT EASILY CARRY THE STORY...AND THE CONFLICT. THERE WERE SO MANY SURPRISES...AND ONE MOMENT OF STUNNED DISBELIEF ON MY PART (WHICH HAD ME SCANNING EARLIER PAGES FOR CLUES TO A MONUMENTAL DISCOVERY...I FOUND THEM AND SCOLDED MYSELF SOUNDLY FOR NOT NOTICING THEM THE FIRST TIME ROUND.)
KLASSEN INCLUDES FASCINATING DETAILS ON THE APOTHECARY TRADE AND METICULOUS HISTORICAL DETAILS WHICH ENHANCES THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE TIME PERIOD. DEFINITELY HIGH ON MY RECOMMENDED LIST.