Audiobook Review: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

The Lost Apothecary // by Sarah Penner // narrated by Lorna Bennett, Lauren Anthony & Lauren Irwin

Pub Day: March 02, 2021

Publisher: Harper Audio

Length: 10 hours 18 minutes

Affiliate Link: Buy here on Bookshop.org

Synopsis:

A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary…

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.

My Thoughts:

I have to be totally honest: I definitely chose this title because I was blown away by the cover. It is absolutely stunning to me and fits the story so well. I was really excited also to have received the audiobook because it is very well done. I enjoyed all three narrators and felt that they were a good fit for their respective characters. The only part I wasn’t overly happy with were the impressions of the British officers in the present tense. They did not have very convincing accents, but the rest of the narration of that POV was so well done that it hardly mattered.

The book is split into two different timelines: the modern-day POV is told by one character and the past is told by two characters whose lives become intimately entwined. While there is definitely a relationship component that is important to one character, I did like that it was not the entire focus of the book. Rather than it being the focal point of the entire story, it was more of a side character that added to the development of the narrator. The true main focus of this book are women: their relationships with each other, their growth, and how they learn to become independent and make decisions for themselves. As someone that has struggled with those things sometimes herself, I enjoyed watching these women move through the story.

Despite these positives though, I have to say that there were some things that could have benefited from more research and/or development. To come back to the modern-day officers, this part seemed rather unprofessional in its execution. The mystery, research, and acceptance also seemed simpler than expected, though I don’t want to go into more detail here and spoil it for other readers. I do want to point out though that this is a debut novel and that this author shows a lot of promise. If she takes some of the criticism to heart and works a little bit on making some of these situations more realistic, then I think we can expect some amazing books from her in the future. I definitely recommend this book because, despite these faults, I still had a really good time with this book and finished it a lot quicker than I had expected because I just could not stop listening to it.

About the Author:

Sarah Penner is the debut author of The Lost Apothecary (Park Row Books/HarperCollins), available now wherever books are sold. The Lost Apothecary will be translated into two dozen languages worldwide. Sarah and her husband live in St. Petersburg, Florida with their miniature dachshund, Zoe. To learn more, visit SarahPenner.com.

About the Publisher:

HarperAudio proudly traces its roots back to 1952, when Dylan Thomas first recorded for our Caedmon label. For more than five decades, HarperAudio/Caedmon has been synonymous not only with distinguished poets reading their works, but also with equally distinguished authors and readers performing classic and contemporary texts.

Thank you to the authors, publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with a free print and audio copy in exchange for an honest review.

2 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Add yours

  1. I too just recently read and reviewed this one and like you, loved the overall arching story, past and present. Though I have to say I enjoyed Nella and Eliza’s stories more than Caroline’s. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! It was much more exciting all the way through. I really struggled with Caroline’s POV sometimes because of her partner and I’m glad it worked itself out by the end.

      Like

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