I once asked an author what I should do if I ever wanted to become a better writer. The author told me to ‘read, read and read some more’! I’ve never received better advice because, with that advice, my writing has become stronger. That author was Julie Klassen, author of The Apothecary’s Daughter.
The Apothecary’s Daughter is one of the best Christian Fiction books I have ever read. You get a taste of Austen and Bronte combined and the story is so intricately woven into mystery and scandal.
We are introduced in the beginning of the book to Lilly, a young girl who, in the prologue, must trespass onto someone else’s property in order to save the life of her best friend. She is the loyal apothecary’s daughter, whose mother abandoned her and her mentally ill brother. Lilly wants desperately to find out what happened to her mother and if the scandalous rumors are true. Her father tells her nothing, but little does Lilly know that he holds a secret of his own.
Lilly is swept away by an aunt and uncle into London society where she meets a young doctor, Adam Graves, and comes upon an old acquaintance Roderick Marlow. Both men intrigue her and certain clues of her mother are popping up all around her.
This book was beautifully put together and held true to the times. Set in the early 1800’s (Jane Austen times as I like to call them), we see a glimpse into the life of an apothecary and his family. The struggle for Lilly with her little brother is heartrending. Because of his disabilities, Lilly is afraid of his being sent away. He lives in a time when people with such disabilities were put away because they were not thought of as intelligent, simply because they had the mind of a child.
I will say that the faith aspect of the story wasn’t as strong as I would’ve hoped. Lilly prays a few times and it’s mentioned that she goes to church, but other than that her faith isn’t really expounded upon.
And yes, readers, there were leeches! Those slimy little things are an example of the creatures apothecary’s kept in jars in their shops to bleed people who were sick. And reading about it was almost enough to make me feel ill! 😉 The book wasn’t just entertaining, it was also educational! I never thought I’d be interested in reading about an apothecary, but I learned a few things about them in this book.
All in all, The Apothecary’s Daughter was an excellent book with an incredibly woven mystery! If you like Christian Fiction, then you’re sure to like this book!
Coming Soon: From the Shire to Mordor…Look for the first installment of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy tomorrow!!