What would you do if you found an old apothecary vial from 1791?

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The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Get ready to take a journey through the hard topics of life and relationships. What would you do if you found an old apothecary vial from 1791? Read The Lost Apothecary today and see what Caroline does when it feels like her life has fallen apart and she has no idea what to do. Until fate steps in and puts the answer in her hands with a chance discovery!

My Once Upon a Book Club box for April arrived and it included The Lost Apothecary and what a joy this arrival was! I should probably explain what Once Upon a Book Club Box is for those who haven’t heard of it.

What is ‘Once Upon a Book Club’?

This is a monthly subscription box where you can choose an ADULT or YOUNG ADULT version. When you get your monthly box it will include the chosen book for the month along with 3-5 gifts inside that are marked for certain pages in the story. As you read along the book, you will come across a note on certain pages that says “Open Your Gift”. This is when you’ll go over to the gifts you received in the monthly box and open the correlated item that goes right along with what you’re reading! It’s a very unique way to read and be involved in a story, I’ve never experienced anything like it!

As a VIP member for Once Upon a Book Club, I have been getting these for a while now. It’s a great gift for yourself or someone close to you. If you’re interested in giving it a try, use code ADVENTUREINLIT10 to save on your next box and enjoy the adventure too!

It not only allows readers to fully integrate into the story but also gives them a “Book Club” community. Where they can log onto Instagram and discuss the book with other members each month. There is something magical about turning words of a book into an actual physical object. It’s like bringing the book to life.

Review: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a magical book from beginning to end. It touches on difficult topics like infidelity, relationship problems and also the dynamics of friendships and learning how to move forward. As a dual timeline story we get a look at the year 1791 where Nella, the apothecary owner, runs her shop by selling medicinal herbs and treatments to women who need something for menstrual cramps, skin irritations as well as deadly poisons to take out men who have wronged them. Whether it’s a father, brother or husband, Nella provides them what they need to remove the toxic men from their lives. But Nella is getting sicker and life has some surprises in store for her.

Like 12 year old Eliza who works as a housemaid for her mistress Mrs. Amwell and was asked to visit Nella’s shop in hopes of acquiring a poison to remove her husband who has started to look longingly upon the housemaid Eliza. This brings Nella and Eliza together in a way that neither of them realize is as important as it is until much later. Their friendship is a unique one: like mother and daughter or teacher and student. But it brings both of them that something special they each needed in their lives. Even though it won’t seem like it at the beginning!

Alternatively, we follow the present day Caroline who is alone on her 10 year wedding anniversary trip to London because she recently found out about her husbands infidelity and needs some time to process everything alone. On her vacation she finds an old apothecary vial buried deep in the mud of the Thames riverbed. This discovery starts Caroline on a journey into history as well as a new outlook on her own life and what she needs to do regarding her own decisions.

I won’t lie, this book made me cry sad tears, happy tears and made my stomach flop from the tough subject matter regading infidelity. But the journey of these women to stay honest and true to themselves in the end was the magical part of the entire story. You really get to experience a full circle story that takes you through an entire sequence of stories, connects them across time, and resolves them in the most bittersweet way imaginable.

One of the character elements that I loved, was no matter which one I was reading from the perspective of I could relate with them. From 12 year old Eliza who is just coming into maturity and learning her first hard life lessons. To the present day Caroline who represents that middle aged woman who thought she had her life figured out only to have the ugly truths of her husbands behaviors tear apart that imagery. Finally, to the aged Nella who has seen first hard the atrocities of society and men. How women can be torn down to their core and exposed at the nerves. Each layer of this story is beautiful and poignant in its revelations.

Get the book today and enjoy The Lost Apothecary!

Get the Book



Named Most Anticipated of 2021 by NewsweekGood HousekeepingHello! magazine, Oprah.com, Bustle, Popsugar, Betches, Sweet July, and GoodReads!

March 2021 Indie Next Pick and #1 LibraryReads Pick

“A bold, edgy, accomplished debut!” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary…

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.

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