The Apothecary's Daughter
Bethany House Publishers
Happy Valentine's Day, readers! In honor of today's holiday (or, more accurately, by pure coincidence) I will be reviewing a romance novel, The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen. Finally, I found a romance novel that wasn't totally predictable and held some sort of actual plot!
There were so, so many things to love about this novel. First, there was an actual plot to this romance novel besides the typical "I love him does he love me?" plot. Lilly was raised by her father, an apothecary, after her mother left the family. During the novel Lilly embarks on a journey to discover where her mother left to and why. In the end she must come to terms with her mother's abandonment. In addition to that, Lilly's aunt and uncle take her from her small town of Bedsley Priors (which sounds a lot to me like Bedford Falls!) to London, where she learns to be high society and where her aunt hopes she will find a proper husband. Though Lilly loves her new life in London, when her father falls ill she must go back to her small town to help him with his business and to help him heal.
I think what I enjoyed most about this novel was that even by the last couple chapters I still had no idea who Lilly was going to end up with. At points during the novel Lilly had up to three potential suitors at one time. For the longest time I thought she would end up with one man, though in the end she ended up with another and I felt as though she had made the right choice.
In reading other reviews of the novel I was surprised to read that some readers felt like there was too much Christianity in the story that, they claimed, snuck up on you in the second half. I didn't notice any such thing. The main character is a Christian and prays on occasion, but I didn't feel the novel was overly preachy like some Christian novels can be. In fact, I wouldn't even classify this as a Christian romance novel, but simply a historical romance novel.
The only downside to this novel was that I read the eBook version, which was riddled with typos, especially towards the end of novel. Extra letters at the beginnings of words, misplaces quotation marks, etc. It didn't ruin the novel too much and I'm sure a hard copy of the book wouldn't contain such errors. Overall it was a great read.