The Apothecary's Daughter
I met a writing hero of mine recently. Julie Klassen, author of Lady of Milkweed Manor and The Girl in the Gatehouse among other works, lectured at a writing conference I attended. While I did not have the pleasure of hearing her seminar, I did have the honor of speaking to Julie and having our picture snapped. To celebrate, I decided to re-read one of my favorite of her books, The Apothecary’s Daughter.
Lilly Haswell watches the canal boats on their way to and from her poor hometown of Bedsley Priors. Will she ever sail off to adventure on board one of them? Born to a tradesman, an apothecary, Lilly holds little hope for life beyond her village. But when her wealthy aunt and uncle come calling, Lilly must choose between the life she knows and the life she imagines for herself.
In a tale that reminds me of the Disney story of Beauty and the Beast, complete with a rich, overbearing beast of a man, Julie Klassen explores what it means to look for yourself and discover that what you truly want may be something unexpected indeed. Rich prose and detailed historical references bring the story to life. Step into the rolling English countryside, take a trip to London in the early 1800’s, and visit an apothecary shop from the comfort of your favorite reading nook. Then, tell me if you enjoyed the novel in the comments below. I’d love to trade favorite scenes with you.