1665: Susannah Leyton has grown up behind the counter of her father's apothecary shop in bustling Fleet Street. A skilled student - the resinous scents of lavender, rosemary, liquorice, and turpentine run in her blood - her father has granted her the freedom to pursue her considerable talents. But Susannah is dealt a shocking blow when her widowed father marries again, and her new stepmother seems determined to remove her from the apothecary shop for good.
A proposal of marriage from the charming Henry Savage seems to offer Susannah an escape. But as the plague sweeps through London, tragedy strikes, and dark secrets from her husband's past begin to unfold. It will take all of Susannah's courage and passion to save herself from tragedy.
©2011 Charlotte Betts (P)2012 Soundings
"Romantic, engaging, and hugely satisfying. This is one of those novels that makes you feel like you've travelled back in time" (Katie Fforde)
"A vivid tale of love in a time of fire, plague and prejudice" (Katherine Webb, best-selling author of The Legacy)
I own a small shop selling custom/costume Jewelry. I love to listen to audio books while I create jewelry. I love all animals and get very upset when they aren't treated well, even in fiction.
While this book is keeping my attention, and I realize that in this period of time, animals were not treated well- The authors repeated gratuitous description of cruelty to animals ruins this book for me. These descriptions add nothing to the story which would( in my opinion) be much better off without them!
This story was excellent and so true to life when life is a jumble. Lots of twists and turns, joy and sadness. All of which brought laughter and tears at how life can be. I enjoyed the book tremendously !!
Intriguing and a wonderful overall story
Ah....if I told you that, I would give the plot and story away !!
The title of the book. The title is what drew me in.
Read the book. It's wonderful
Yes. There was a lot of historical information about the plague and the fires in London. Also, what spices, etc, they used to cure illness.
The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Although the Apothecary's Daugher was easier and quicker to get thru.
Well of course, Suzanne was my favorite character. What that poor girl put up with but never lost her courage and drive.
Suzanne again. She faced many trying issues but always saw them thru. Courage could be her middle name.
Don't miss this book. I thought it was one of the best I have listened to in years. And trust me, I do over 50 books a year.
I can't believe I wasted hours of my life listening to this book! I kept on listening, hoping that the story would improve, but that didn't happen. While the performance is excellent (the reader does a great job of reading different characters), the story is predictable, melodramatic, sentimental, and the heroine is positively shrewish and annoying. The prose is also filled with groan-inducing cliches. What calamity doesn't befall this woman? It was as if the writer took her cue from soap operas, where the heroine endures unbelievable hardships only to (of course) triumph in the end. The story is also troubling because of the stereotypical representation of the black ("African") characters. I'd expect to find these representations in an 18th-century novel but not in a contemporary one. If you're looking for a smart romantic story with a can-do heroine and thoughtful characterizations, this is not for you.
This novel takes place in 1665 and includes the Plague endemic and the Great London Fire as part of its background. Susanna Leyton grew up working with her father, an apothecary, helping him fill orders. In fact, she knew as much about it as he did, having learned from him. Then her father, a widower, remarries-a woman whoo is interested mostly in his money and who already has three children of her own. She wants Susanna out of the house and so helps engineer a marriage proposal from a charming businessman, Henry Savage. Although she has no wish to marry, there are few jobs in the 1600’s that a woman was allowed to do besides being a governess, a lady’s housemaid, or a prostitute. So she marries Henry and finds out her husband is not so charming and has secrets which could financially devastate her. He dies of the plague, however, and Susanna goes on to further adventures involving both the plague and the fire and to ultimate happiness. This is a quick read, a feel-good book but with realistic descriptions of the plague and how people reacted while it was raging. Very good.
The was that Charlotte Betts depicts black women in this story is truly appalling. It is as though she researched every stereotype of a black woman -mean, malicious, lazy, angry, defiant, sinister, sexually promiscuous- and weaved a tale of lies so cruel, so demeaning that it was most painful to endure. The worst part was the way that Betts attempts to address the realities of sexual behavior during the era of slavery. White men, white women, and black women were in the same households and sexual liaisons undoubtedly occurred between white men and black women but Betts depicts the black women (the prostitute and Phoebe) as if they enjoyed and took pride in the sexual violence, the institutional rape they endured at the hands of White men. She is remembering it wrong. And by remembering it wrong she glamorizes the sexual violence that black women faced in history and in the present.
An interesting story that gives great historical detail about the lives of women in the 1600's in England. I liked the story and continued to return to the book, but the narrator made both the men and women hysterically cry as she read that I had trouble getting through it. Over acting? All characters but the main character whines and cries constantly. Over interpretation by the narrator. Very very irritating.
Telecommuter living outside of San Francisco, CA. I listen to books while walking my dog, quilting, and doing chores around the house.
I learned many things about this sad time in the history of England and the impact of the plague. The apothecary's craft is fascinating and so are the characters in the book. Great story overall.
"Great easy listen"
Having listened or read quite a few Tudor novels it was good to change period of history. A great easy listen and I enjoyed the links with use of herbs for medicinal purposes.
I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I will admit that the ending was obvious but its just a nice listen. You get lost in the story and really feel for the main character. I really enjoy Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory and this is a bit on the same lines. The author uses fictional characters within real historical events. I would recommend this book.
"A female perspective in a male dominated society"
enjoyable, entertaining, descriptive
I enjoyed the narrative of this story, the author cleverly painted the scenes you could almost smell the apothecary.
Anne Dover read the story exceptionally well, it flowed and was a delight to listen too.
This was quite a different genre for me but thoroughly enjoyable. Written about a woman's life and experience in a period of history where most main roles tend to be male was very refreshing. I would highly recommend this as an entertaining and easy listen.
I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Very well read. Very engaging story. Amazing characters, it was as if I was there.
I would never normally read/listen to a historical novel but it was really good. It appealed to both me and my mum (ages 24 and 55), a lovely story. Charlotte Betts takes you back in time and sets the scenes in this easy listen but heart felt book. A good story.
"Step back into Plague-ridden London ..."
I loved this story, and the narrator does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life. It is a love story, but not 'too soppy', though the ending is a little predictable. You get a good sense of what it must have been like living in London at this terrible time - the horrors and fears, grief and desperation, the ideas that people had about where the plague was coming from, how to avoid it and treat it, and what it was like to be confined in a plague-house, etc. I really enjoyed it and I'll be looking out for this author again.
Lovely atmospheric tale
Didnt want it to end cant wait for her next one really fell in love with the charachters
I have never read a Charlotte Betts before, but I am so glad I did. My husband and I loved this book and we listened, and read, and couldn't wait until it was finished!
We also did not want it too either because it was so good.
Anne Dover is a marvellous narrator.
"A Page Turner! Didn't want to put it down!"
Enjoyable story which the narrator brought to life!
First time reading this talented Author but will definitely read more of her books
"Griping story of plague infested London"
The heroine is a forward thinking and modern woman for the late 1650's Her fortunes are repeatedly challenged.
Great story, well read. Enjoy!!!
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