The Apothecary’s Daughter is published by Piatkus and also as a Kindle e-book, audiobook and large print book.
It is 1664 and Susannah Leyton has grown up in her father’s old apothecary shop in bustling Fleet Street, rich with the aroma of rosemary, lavender, liquorish and turpentine. A skilled student of the apothecary’s craft, she even impresses handsome, austere Doctor William Ambrose with her medical knowledge. But everything changes for Susannah when her father remarries and she is caught in a battle of wills with her step-mother. Life above the shop becomes unbearable and she is desperate to escape.
When she receives a proposal of marriage from William’s handsome and charming cousin Henry Savage, she believes her prayers have been answered. But her new husband is a complex and troubled man and married life is not what she expected. Lonely and sad, Susannah longs for love.
As the plague sweeps through the city, tragedy strikes and the secrets of Henry’s past come back to haunt Susannah.
Here is the opening.
Inside the apothecary shop Susannah stood by the light of the window, daydreaming and grinding flowers of sulphur into a malodorous dust as she watched the world go by. Fleet Street, as always, was as busy as an anthill. The morning’s snow was already dusted with soot from the noxious cloud blown in from the kilns at Limehouse and the frost made icebergs of the surging effluent in the central drain. Church bells clanged and dogs barked while a ceaseless stream of people flowed past.
Susannah’s eye was drawn by the tall figure of a man in a sombre hat and cloak picking his way over the snow. Something about the way he moved amongst the hubbub of the crowd, like a wolf slipping silently through the forest, captured her curiosity …Tweet