By Carrie Pinkard
Welcome to another edition of Literature In A Cup! We are so glad you’re reading with us. Here’s what we have brewing for April:
On the bookshelf: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
On the kettle: Dream Tea
The Lost Apothecary review:
Magical. Surreal. Witchy. These are the three words that come to mind when thinking about The Lost Apothecary.
This novel is set in London, a city whose streets blend the very old with the very new. It’s a fitting location for the book, which bounces between narrators from the 1700’s and today.
Back in 1791, Nella owned and operated an apothecary. But this wasn’t your run of the mill CVS Pharmacy (ha!). Nella sold poisons designed to help women get rid of unfaithful, abusive, or evil men. Nella operated in secret, hidden behind a false wall in a tiny alley in London.
Meanwhile, in present day, Caroline is visiting London when she finds an apothecary vial in the Thames river. She dedicates her trip to unraveling the mystery of this mysterious vial, therefore unraveling the mystery of the lost apothecary.
This book moves quickly and keeps you interested as it changes between narrators every chapter. It’s riddled with curious characters, female friendship, and betrayal.
The Lost Apothecary explores the bonds of womanhood that can withstand centuries. The issues that Nella faced in the 1700’s were the same ones that Caroline faced in the 21st century. Both these women struggled to balance the binds of impending motherhood and marriage with the desire for independence and making a difference in the world.
You may not agree with their choices, and you may find the apothecary’s actions downright evil, but this book will keep you on the edge of your seat as you race through London’s streets gathering ingredients and piecing together clues to solve the mystery of The Lost Apothecary.
About the book and tea pairing:
“I wished so badly for another cup of Nella’s Valerian hot brew, which had left me so relaxed at her little shop with the secret room.”
Valerian is one ingredient mentioned throughout The Lost Apthecary. Valerian is an herb that has been used since ancient times to promote tranquility and rest. That’s why it’s a key ingredient of our Dream tea and pairs perfectly with this mystical, dreamy novel.
The apothecary doesn’t JUST distribute poisons. She also makes healing oils and medicines. She uses ingredients from the Earth to brew her remedies, just like we use all natural ingredients from the Earth in our teas.
So grab your copy of the book and our Dream tea and relax as you dive into this brooding, atmospheric novel.