Apr 022010
 

An Engaging Historical Romance

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

Lilly Haswell, the daughter of a small village apothecary, yearns for a life filled with love and adventure that will take her away from her hometown of Bedsley Priors. She spends her days assisting in her father’s apothecary shop with his apprentice, Francis Baylor, and she has an excellent talent for remembering and preparing remedies. Lilly’s mother left her family three years ago without a word, and Lilly still looks for her return. When Lilly’s fashionable and wealthy relations offer her an extended stay in London, complete with the promise of tutors, gowns, and balls, Lilly concedes even though she will terribly miss her father and her handicapped brother, Charlie. Lilly travels to London with the aspirations to further her education, experience adventures, make new acquaintances, and perhaps, find some clues about her mother’s disappearance.

The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen is a charming and sweet Regency tale that will fascinate readers with its historical facts and details about the art of being an apothecary. I particularly enjoyed learning about the many remedies and cures used back in the nineteenth century. In addition, in this novel Ms. Klassen subtly employs themes of Christianity and faith. She never sermonizes or moralizes, she merely stresses the importance of turning your problems and anxieties over to God and that “with God all things are possible.”

In this novel Ms. Klassen leaves her audience in suspense and befuddlement about which man will be the one to win Lilly’s heart until the very end of the novel. So if you like books were the romance is unpredictable and unexpected, you will like this aspect of the novel greatly. For myself, surprisingly I found it a little disappointing and unsatisfying. Lilly has three suitors in this novel and throughout the majority of it she is undecided about which one she is in love with. Because of this, Lilly sometimes seemed to be a little fickle and inconstant. In addition, with three different male characters the book it didn’t seem to have a true hero or main male character. I was a little disappointed in how my favorite suitor was abruptly abandoned and how we were left with no glimpse of his future.

Is this book Austenesque? Not really, although this book takes place in the same Regency time period of many of Jane Austen’s novels there aren’t a lot of similarities between Ms. Klassen’s and Ms. Austen’s writing, characters, and style.

Is this book Historical Christian Fiction? Yes, although I felt its inspirational and religious elements to be very light and not as meaningful as I expected. However, this book would be great for readers who don’t really care much for the mention of God and faith in their historical fiction.

Overall, The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen was an engaging novel that I found to be a very pleasant read. I look forward to reading other works by Julie Klassen as I greatly enjoyed the articulate and accurate historical backdrop she gave her story. If you are interested in historical fiction, the Regency Era, or apothecaries than I suggest you give this book a try.

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  20 Responses to “The Apothecary’s Daughter – Julie Klassen”

  1.  

    If you adored the book, I might perhaps have read it. As it, I had already privately debated with myself whether or not I was interested in it and your review has put the nail in its coffin. It might not be Austenesque, but I appreciate the info.

  2.  

    Thank you, Alexa. I do occasionally read something that is not Austenesque, and its nice to know that you didn’t mind me putting up my review of it here. Were you interested in reading Ms. Klassen’s books too? So many people I know have read them and recommend them.

  3.  

    Honey read what you like. I don’t mind.

  4.  

    Honey read what you like. I don’t mind.

  5.  

    I didn’t realize this book was Christian Fiction. That would fit right in to a goal I have for the Take a Chance Challenge to read something I don’t normally read (my chosen topic being Christian Fiction!) It sounds interesting.

    And, this is your blog. You go ahead and review whatever you want to!

  6.  

    I didn’t realize this book was Christian Fiction. That would fit right in to a goal I have for the Take a Chance Challenge to read something I don’t normally read (my chosen topic being Christian Fiction!) It sounds interesting.

    And, this is your blog. You go ahead and review whatever you want to!

  7.  

    I think at some point you were going to have to branch out or you would start dreaming about Austen (if you don’t already). Austen bloggers review Georgette Heyer, so why not other Regency novels?

  8.  

    Thank you for the review Meredith!
    I’ve placed this book on hold at my library.

  9.  

    Thank you for the review Meredith!
    I’ve placed this book on hold at my library.

  10.  

    Thank you all for the lovely support and kindness!

    Rebecca and Katherine, I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

  11.  

    Thank you all for the lovely support and kindness!

    Rebecca and Katherine, I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

  12.  

    I adore Regency Era historic fiction. Not so sure about Christian Fiction though, but I should probably try it out 🙂

    I have an award for you! 🙂 http://atpemberley.blogspot.com/2010/04/awards-galore.html

  13.  

    It sounds great, so I am adding this to my tbr list.

  14.  

    It sounds great, so I am adding this to my tbr list.

  15.  

    Meredith, I always enjoy your reviews so whether the book is Austenesque or not, I am interested in your thoughts and opinions.
    I have heard good things about this one. It’s on my TBR list.

  16.  

    I just finished this book. I’m curious…who was your favorite suitor?

  17.  

    I was rooting for bad-boy Roderick Marlow. How about you, Audrey? What were your thoughts?

  18.  

    I have to say I finally read this the past week. it was really good. I enjoyed it tremendously. I had my doubts also but Julie Klassen has won me over.

  19.  

    Almost two years later, and I just read this book and went looking for reviews and found yours. I thought I was probably the only one who was hoping for those sparks to fly. He’s really the only one she had sparks with, but I think we were supposed to understand that he was untrustworthy and possibly even had taken liberties, since not only was one of the other female characters visibly afraid of him, but the other men seemed quick to be protective when he was around. Even though I think that’s what she intended, I also think it was all handled so gently that it was difficult to tell whether he was truly a lord who felt all wenches around were his property (in a bad way) or whether he was really a Darcy needing someone to scrape beneath the surface and find what was truly there. I’ll probably be posting my review Wednesday.

  20.  

    Thanks for stopping by and reading my comment! I’m so glad to hear your opinion on this novel! I love seeing a badboy redeemed and was so hoping that was the case in this novel! Wishing he was just misunderstood or misjudged instead of being a Wickham or something! Please let me know where I can find your review, I’d love to read it!

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