In this poignant Regency gem by Christy Award finalist Julie Klassen, Lillian longs to soar beyond her provincial limits. After enjoying London's sophisticated society and the attentions of wealthy suitors, Lilly returns home to help her ailing dad. Determined to resurrect his apothecary business, Lilly labors tirelessly - praying her family's secrets and her rivals' schemes won't cloud her future.
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There's lots of verisimilitude and details of the apothecary art in the early 19th century. Porter's narration elevates the novel by at least a star. I'm not a fan of what are termed "inspirational" novels, and the "Christie award winning" label appplied to the author made me hesitant to download this; however, the few references to prayer scattered through the story are not hamfisted - and even an atheist shouldn't be put off that element -- We don't like the corsets the ladies in these novels wear, but we accept them as part of the Regency world -- so why not a character who prays occasionally? I'll take that over bodice-ripping any day!
Prior to modern medicine, antibiotics, and when apothecary's were as much or more trusted in the treatment of diseases as doctors, this historical tale takes the listener into the small village of Bedsley Priors, England during the 1800s. Although fiction, I learned a lot about the herbs, many of which are still used today in the treatment of serious illnesses, and the training that apothecaries underwent. Physicians regularly went into the apothecary shops to purchase medicines with which to treat their patients, many times relying on the expertise of the apothecary to distill and mix the herbs and plants. It was against the law for women to practice medicine or to prescribe treatment (as apothecaries did). Class discrimination, of course, ran rampant, then as it does now, and working through acceptable social behavior for women, as well as choosing a "proper" suitor, long kept Lilly, the apothecary's daughter from discovering where her true treasure lay . . . Her faith, ever present, continued to carry her forward, as well as her love for her family, and her journey found her rewarded in the end. Very satisfying listen . . .
- Debbie "Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper."