Rating: 3 ♥’s
Published: March 2, 2021
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 301

Description: 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.

This has been on my to-read list for a while and I am glad that I got around to reading it. It was also suggested by one of my friends, I am doing a book a month that a friend recommended and this was my February choice. Can I say I love the cover of this book it is really pretty.
I enjoyed the story overall, it was a fun concept for a story and I liked the parallel between the back in time and the present-day stories and how they went together. I think there could have been more done with the concept to make it even more interesting, however, it was still a good read. I thought the story flowed nicely and I liked how the future story was driven by the story of the past and how it changed Caroline’s life, and for the better. I thought that the mystery was pretty good, I think this is where there could have been more to it. I felt like I wanted to have more mystery and a few more twists in it. I felt like I especially wanted to know more about what happened to Nella and Eliza at the end, especially since it seems Nella did not die. I at first thought that Caroline’s husband had ingested something from the old apothecary vial somehow, not the oil that she had, although made more sense than the vial still having something in it!
The characters were done well. I felt like I felt for Nella and understood how back in that time period there really wasn’t a way for women to be saved from the wrongdoings of vicious men back then. I thought it was interesting she wanted to keep their names known for history when those names if found out too early would have gotten them arrested. I wasn’t sure at first how I felt about Eliza, I liked her but something about her just didn’t draw me in, then she found a way to help Nella and I was drawn to her more. I sure wanted to know more about if her husband did something to her or if he really did die on his own! Caroline I liked, you start to understand how she changed and let her dreams go because she found love and wanted a family and life. But you also feel for her because she lost part of herself and it was nice to see her find it again, even if it came with the problems in her marriage.
I thought this was a fun read and I enjoyed reading it.
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