I recently read even more historical fiction!
Who even am I??…
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
Oh man I really enjoyed this historical mystery!! I had no idea what to expect going into this book. The cover and synopsis immediately intrigued me and knew this was something that I needed to give a read. But I wasn’t expecting to be as swept away into this story as I was.
This is told in dual timelines – in 1791 London at secret apothecary and present day following a woman struggling in her marriage. I love dual timeline stories but oftentimes one timeline is stronger than the other. But in this case I was equally invested in both timelines! I loved how the two timelines played off each other and we got to see Caroline learn and deduce things we as a reader learned in the past chapters.
I loved the grey morality and feminist themes throughout this book. I loved the characters, the writing, and the audiobook narration was absolutely fantastic. All in all I can’t recommend this book enough! It was a seriously immersive experience and I ‘m still thinking about this story a month later. I can’t wait to read more from Sarah Penner in the future!
In the Garden of Spite by Camilla Bruce
This historical horror was eerie and disturbing. Being the mind of a serial killer was extremely unsettling but absolutely captivating.
I absolutely loved some of the choices Camilla Bruce made in telling this story. This is told in 2 POVs – one being the killer herself, Bella, and the other her sister. Doing this really highlighted the way that Bella twists scenarios. I found it really easy to sympathize with Bella when we were in her head, but then hearing the same situation from a biased outsider would flip everything on its head. I just loved how the author was able to make Bella so layer – she was really unlikeable and frustrating but I never hated her. I even found myself feeling heartbroken for her at times. It was a really fascinating character exploration that blew me away.
However, despite loving all of that about this book, I did find it too be a little too long throughout the middle. It seemed at times to hang and dwindled on scenes at times and I would find my attention wavering. This is quite a long book, especially for a True Crime thriller, and I just wish it had been a pinch shorter to keep the pace up.
Definitely stick around for the author’s note at the end! I’m not a true crime lover so I had never heard of Bella’s story before this. So it was really cool and insightful to hear about the inspiration and theories she ran with to create this story. I will definitely be checking out more from Camilla Bruce in the future!
Hello Stranger (The Ravenels #4) by Lisa Kleypas
This seems to be an unpopular opinion but this is my favorite of the series so far! I loved Dr Gibbson in the previous books so I was really excited to see she got her own book! Garrett was so strong and independent and it was really cool to see a woman in a profession during this time period.
The chemistry between her and Ethan was so steamy. I loved their interactions together and their banter. Even though I felt like their connection lacked history or depth, I was somehow still here for it. I was completely in love with them as a couple.
I also really enjoyed the spy plot (which doesn’t seem to be the case for most people). I thought it was fun and unique. I personally love historical mysteries and this totally gave those vibes. The stakes felt really high and their relationship/feeling were definitely put to the test throughout this.
I will say I really hope we can get through one book in this series without a character nearly dying…
While this is currently my favorite of the series, Wes’ story is next so I don’t know if this will hold the title for very long. Wes is my favorite character of the series and I absolutely cannot wait to dive into his story!