July 2021 BOTM & The Lost Apothecary

One of the goals on my summer bucket list is to read 5 books. And a nice way I have discovered to find books is through the Book of the Month Club (not sponsored, but I do get 1 book credit if you sign up through my link. You can also get your first book for $9.99 with code SUNNY5). So, I thought it would be fun to include small reviews of the books I have received and share the next book I have chosen. I recently took a small break from this club because I had so many books to read, but just re-subscribed. So instead of reviewing one of their choices from June, for this post I will review the most recent book I finished, which is The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner (this was one of the choices in March 2021).

The Lost Apothecary Mini Review

by Sarah Penner

Synopsis: This novel follows three characters: Nella, Eliza, and Caroline. Nella is the owner of an 18th century secret apothecary shop, whose specialty is selling poisons to women to use against the cheating and oppressive men in their lives. Early on in the novel, 12 year old Eliza comes into Nella’s life when she is in need of poison at the request of her mistress. However, Nella’s intuition (before even meeting Eliza) tells her that something is going to go terribly wrong.

Fast-forward 200 years and Caroline is on a trip to London in hopes to find herself, when she finds a mysterious artifact, which she immediately becomes fascinated by. She quickly adopts the quest to discover the origin of this mysterious artifact, which she dedicates the rest of her time in London to.

My Take: I really enjoyed this book. It is a quick read and does not require too much deep thought. However, I did like doing my own research on the herbs and remedies mentioned throughout the book and was able to learn a lot. One of the things I enjoyed most was the unraveling of the characters as they go through their journeys, particularly with Nella. However, I felt that the present day character,  Caroline, didn’t have much of a story arc, everything is revealed about her pretty early on and it is pretty obvious what route she will end up taking. Although, I was captivated when she began to unravel the mystery behind the killer apothecary and put all the pieces together.  Overall, I would recommend this book if you are interested in historical fiction and are looking for a fast, easy read.

July Book of the Month

The book I have chosen for July is The People We Keep by Allison Larkin, which I have to admit, I mainly chose because it mentions Ithaca, which is where I went to school. But, actually it looks like it is going to be a really good book. I should have my review for that book up in the coming weeks.

The People We Keep synopsis from the Book of the Month:

Little River, New York, 1994: April Sawicki is living in a motorless motorhome that her father won in a poker game. Failing out of school, picking up shifts at Margo’s diner, she’s left fending for herself in a town where she’s never quite felt at home. When she “borrows” her neighbor’s car to perform at an open mic night, she realizes her life could be much bigger than where she came from. After a fight with her dad, April packs her stuff and leaves for good, setting off on a journey to find a life that’s all hers.

Driving without a chosen destination, she stops to rest in Ithaca. Her only plan is to survive, but as she looks for work, she finds a kindred sense of belonging at Cafe Decadence, the local coffee shop. Still, somehow, it doesn’t make sense to her that life could be this easy. The more she falls in love with her friends in Ithaca, the more she can’t shake the feeling that she’ll hurt them the way she’s been hurt.

As April moves through the world, meeting people who feel like home, she chronicles her life in the songs she writes and discovers that where she came from doesn’t dictate who she has to be.”

Thank you so much for reading! Let me know your thoughts on either of these books in the comments (leave a warning for any spoilers). I would really love to hear about any books you read recently that you would recommend. I am new to reviewing, but I absolutely love finding new books and I appreciate any and all input! Thanks for reading!

– Hannah



  1. lovelifeandbeyond

    I agree what you say about the Lost Apothecary…the characters could have been more fleshed out. I just read to know what happens to the apothecary but lost interest pretty soon in the book

    1. Hannah

      Yes me too. I really liked the idea of the book, but I felt there could have been so much more to it!

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