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)
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
This story has a very Moll Flanders feel. The many trials and tribulation of the main character will keep you on the edge of your seat. This was a wonderful surprise at a time when I was looking for something fresh. If you love history and a bit of romance combined with a story that could have easily been true, look no further. This story will transport you to a unique time in history and you won't regret it.
"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
"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!!!
I absolutely loved this historical novel and have been looking for more by Charlotte Betts (she has a new one out 'The Painter's Apprentice'but not yet on audio) Convincingly written, historically accurate, very absorbing - couldn't stop listening! For lovers of historical fiction (a bit like Philippa Gregory but without the royalty). Very highly recommended. Loved it.
"loved it!! more please!!!!"
I absolutely loved this story, I actually cared about what happened to the characters, I wish Charlotte Betts would write more
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