I’d like to thank Park Row for gifting me an ARC of The Lost Apothecary. All opinions are, of course, my own.
The Lost Apothecary
Genre: Historical/Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Park Row (HarperCollins)
A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course
Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.
Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.
One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.
In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.
According to Penner, The Lost Apothecary is ideal for readers who love:
- -secret, hidden alleyways in old London
- -apothecaries, herbalists, witches
- -magickal tinctures and spells
- -antiquated ephemera like old maps and manuscripts
- -libraries (several scenes take place at the British Library)
- -unlikely friendships among women
- -GIRL POWER and women exerting control in ingenious ways
Sarah Penner is the debut author of The Lost Apothecary, forthcoming in March 2021 from Park Row Books/HarperCollins.
The Lost Apothecary will be available in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and translated in fifteen territories worldwide including Croatia, Czech Republic, Holland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Sweden.
Sarah works full-time in finance. She and her husband live in St. Petersburg, Florida with their miniature dachshund, Zoe.
My Thoughts & Takeaways
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner is told from the POV of three different women. It’s also told during two different time periods in London, England. Regardless, it’s woven together seamlessly without confusion.
I really enjoy anything witchy so I was signed up when I saw this book! I’m also very intrigued by the storyline, especially weaving a love of history into it.
The Lost Apothecary is perfect for librarians, historians, and feminists.