In Lily Haswell, Klassen has created a fascinating heroine and placed her in a setting that intrigued me. Lily is The Apothecary's Daughter. She helps her father in his shop, although at the time the story is set, women are not allowed to be apothecaries. Lily is blessed with a memory that forgets nothing, so the blending of herbs is a task she performs with skill.
However, when an offer comes to leave her small village and live in London with a wealthy relative, she is introduced to a life quite different from anything she's ever known. Although Lily has any number of men interested in her, her background in the apothecary shop is considered shameful and something to be hidden.
Klassen tells the story in the style of Jane Austen, with the manners and mores of the Regency period. Each chapter is headed with an authentic quote about herbs or their uses,which serves as an introduction for the events to come.
How all the twists and turns in this plot resolve themselves makes this book a treat to read. In addition to The Apothecary's Daughter, I've read Klassen's other books, The Silent Governess, The Lady of Milkweed Manor, and The Girl in the Gatehouse, and thoroughly recommend them as well. I’ll be posting a review of The Girl in the Gatehouse in a future blog.