15 April 2012


The Apothecary by Maile Meloy

When Janie Scott’s Hollywood scriptwriter parents fall under scrutiny during the McCarthy trials of the early 1950’s, the family moves from Hollywood to London to escape persecution from the U.S. federal marshalls.  Janie feels awkward and out-of-place until she meets Benjamin, the son of the local apothecary, who dreams of becoming a spy.  When the apothecary suddenly disappears, Benjamin’s spy games start to feel too real.  Janie and Benjamin must discover the truth and find a way to rescue his father, using the information they find in the ancient book the apothecary asked them to keep safe.  They discover that magic and science are closely related, allies might be found in the least likely of places, and sometimes taking the impossible path is the only option. 

Carefully weaving elements of mystery and intrigue, magic and fantasy into the tapestry of a very real historical setting, Meloy tells a captivating story about having the courage to do the right thing, even when it seems impossible. 

The first few chapters were a little slow as Meloy set the stage for the story, but by the end of chapter six, I couldn’t put the book down.  If you enjoy historical fiction with a twist of magic, this book is for you.

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