The Apothecary's Daughter
Having read and enjoyed “The Painter's Apprentice” I was keen
to read the story which preceded this wonderful book.
The Apothecary's Daughter tells the story of Beth's mother
Susannah, who grew up in Fleet Street, London at her father's
apothecary shop. Beth had grown up learning her craft from
her father of herbal rememdies and cures and enjoyed working in her
father's apothecary shop.
However, there were changes in the air, not always
for the best for Susannah at first glance, though she eventually
finds her place in the world. Susannah's father, a widow, had
decided to marry again which turned Susannah's world upside
This book is magnificent in detail with great descriptive writing.
However, as this book is set twenty years previously to “The Painter's
Apprentice” it brings the reader to the grim realities of London during
the plague years of 1665 and the Great Fire of London of 1666.
This book is emotional and sentimental with wonderful depictions of
life as it was in London during these troubled times of the seventeenth
This story is also a beautiful romance which appeals though I tend to enjoy “The Painter's
Apprentice” for the beauty of the romance. Many of the settings of London
were quite beautiful with golden sunsets, day trips and boat rides on the river Thames.
The romance is between Susannah and one of her father's customers at the apothecary shop,
Doctor William Ambrose, a fairly sombre professional man who works hard in London tending
his many patients. This romance evolves during the story.
There is some wonderful writing by Charlotte Betts describing the horror
and fear in London.
There are also beautiful descriptions given in the
writing of the sunsets, the River Thames, London streets and alleys
and also of beautiful Merryfields, the place
where Susannah eventually leaves London to live.
Strong writing and character make this book wonderful to read.