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on February 19, 2010
Lilly Haswell lives with her apothecary father and brother in the small town of Bedsley Priors. Lilly's mother left the family three years ago, leaving Lilly to care for her family. Although she has an excellent memory and a talent for preparing medicines, Lilly dreams of leaving her small town and visiting the places that she and her mother used to point out on a map. Her chance to see the larger world comes when her aunt and uncle invite her to live with them in London. Lilly must ultimately make a chance--to live a life of ease in London or return to her father, brother and the apothecary shop.

Pros: the author has clearly done a lot of research, and her descriptions of Regency-era medical preparations are fascinating (if nauseating). All of the characters, especially Lilly, her brother and her best friend, are well drawn and interesting. Ms. Klassen never preaches, but works Christian themes subtly and appropriately into the story.

Cons: the plot is long, there are many characters, and there are long stretches where nothing much happens. The book would have been benefited from more ruthless editing, pruning the book to the only the most important themes and characters. Several readers have compared author Klassen to Jane Austen, and this book can be compared to Austen's lesser works (such as "Mansfield Park"). But Klassen lacks the sense of humor that permeates Jane Austen's writing, to the author's detriment.

The bottom line: this is a serviceable, but not wonderful, Regency romance. Considering that I obtained the free Kindle version, I certainly got my money's worth.
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on February 25, 2015
I have had this book on my Kindle forever. And the other day I cam across it as I was scrolling through looking for another book. I decided to pick it up and give it a try. Boy am I glad I did. It has been a long time since I just sat down and read a book just for me. One that isn't attached to a blog tour or giveaway. I am definitely going to have to do this more often.

From the very beginning you really grow to love Lilly, the main character of the story. She is trying so hard to help her father out with his apothecary while also trying to help her brother who is slow. She feels she has no choice in this matter since her mom packed up and left them all. Oh how Lilly would love to travel and see the world though. And not feel trapped in her current situation.

Well she gets this opportunity from an aunt and uncle. They take her to London to live with them. They take Lilly to all of the finest parties and buy her beautiful clothes. But she always seems to find herself thinking of her father and brother and the apothecary.

One day she receives a letter saying her father is ill and she needs to return home. Little does she know that going home will change her life forever.

There are times during this story that I was on the verge of tears. But in the end, I am glad to say that everything turned out pretty good, for the most part anyhow.

If you enjoy the time period setting of the Jane Austin books, you will love this book. I can't wait to read more books by Julie Klassen.
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on February 23, 2013
Having read one of Julie Klassen's newer books, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, last year (loved it!) and hearing great things about The Apothecary's Daughter, I had high expectations going in. While I did really enjoy some parts of this book, I was disappointed in the last portion.

I can't really put my finger on the exact reason either. While Lilly didn't end up with the guy I had hoped in the beginning, I was actually happy with who she did end up with, so that wasn't it. I'd say my main disappointment was how rushed the ending seemed. I was left wondering about quite a few things and I just wish things would have been explained a little more. Also, I wish it wouldn't have taken so long for Lilly to decide on a beau. The wondering of who it was going to be got a little tiring to me.

Don't get me wrong, The Apothecary's Daughter was still a good book and I know lots of people loved it. I have really mixed feelings and struggled with what to rate it. I wasn't sure whether to give it 2, 3, or 4 stars, because I really enjoyed parts, but other things were just okay. In the end, I decided to go with 3 since I did overall like it.

Lilly was a nice main character, although she did annoy me slightly when she seemed to look down on certain people (though she redeemed herself in the end). I really liked Charlie and Mary. I was surprised by many things that happened in The Apothecary's Daughter - it had some definite twists.

All in all, a nice one-time read. I'm glad I read it. As I said earlier, I know lots of people loved The Apothecary's Daughter, so I may have had too high of expectations. I know Julie Klassen writes great historicals, so I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

*I did not get this book for review. I read a Kindle copy I had. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
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on March 22, 2012
I listened to this as an audio book. My experience may be different than of those who read a physical book copy.

The woman who read the book did a good job. I'd give her 4/5 stars.

I don't know how to feel about this book. It was just kind of mediocre. It would keep my attention for a while, then I'd find my mind wandering and not knowing what was happening in the story...and not really caring.

Lily is the daughter of an apothecary. She remembers just about everything and could easily be an apothecary if such a position was appropriate at the time. It's just her, her father, and her brother Charlie who is a bit slow in the head. He sounds as if he might have a general cognitive disability. Their mother left a few years prior and that is part of the plot of the book. Lily is trying to figure out what happened to her mother and why she left. Also, since Charlie can't take over the apothecary shop, they have an apprentice who is friends with and flirts with Lily. Then, one day distant relatives of their mother's (whom they haven't heard from since before she left) show up saying that they don't have heirs to pass their inheritance to and want to "adopt" Charlie. Well, once they realize he is a bit slow, they concede to take Lily to London for a season and spoil her. Of course, while she's there she meets lots of people including eligible bachelors.

The plot of the book is Lily finding a suitable beau, figuring out what will happen to the apothecary shop, and finding out why their mother left.

A decent book, I enjoyed learning about the shop and what they called different diseases and what they tried to use as cures. I probably won't read it again, but pretty good.
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on April 25, 2012
Well, I stuck through this book to the end. I was so excited when I began reading it because for the first few chapters I just LOVED it. It seemed to have a lot going on and I found it to be very interesting. I think where the author started to lose me was when I really couldn't figure out what the main premise of the book was. She does a good job of carrying the story along, but I think it lacks focus. It is classified on Amazon as romance yet my Kindle said that I was 80% finished with the book and I still wasn't sure who she was even most interested in of the many male character possibilities in the story. When I was partway through I decided that this book wasn't so much about romance, but rather her trying to find her mother who had left them abruptly. Yet, that story line seemed to fizzle out and was really only mentioned briefly at the end. I just don't know. She is a good writer. I'd give her books a try again. I just hope she can decide what she is trying to accomplish with story line.
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on January 2, 2014
I bought this book off of reviews. Not something I normally do. I'm glad I did. It is an excellent book. All her books are period books. So you do learn a lot about the lives at that time.

There was a lot of research done. To learn the herbs and mixtures. The love story behind the medicine. The betrayal. Just all was perfect!

I wish the book ended different. Now I'm needing to read more on the characters. It was an excellent book!
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on February 6, 2011
I really enjoyed this book. There were twists and turn all over and though it was a bit slow it was interesting to see the life of an apothecary. The thing that I didnt like about this book was how everyone seemed to want the main character. This got to be very tedious. Its hard to like a character that everyone falls in love with. The main character also spends a lot of time unsure about which of the many man that like her she loves in return.
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on February 5, 2016
I always love how Julie Klassen educates her readers. I'm crazy about the complicated love triangle and I also really loved That it wasn't all just fun and romance. There were real trials as well.
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on June 7, 2011
I absolutely loved this book. I read it a couple of months ago, and I remember sitting in bed and getting ready to go to sleep, but I could not put this book down! The characters were engaging, and the story line was inpspiring. It also had an element of romance that was incredibly pure and sweet. I won't give too much away, but this is an extremely well written book that I highly recommend!
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on March 4, 2011
Wow! I loved the characters, the setting, the history and the attention to detail in the story. Hadn't heard of Julie Klassen before, but I will be looking forward to other titles by this author. I even really found the quotations at the beginning of the chapters wonderful.

And the ending! How unpredictable was that?!

It took me two days to read, but I didn't want to put it down.
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