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The Apothecary's Daughter

Narrated by: Anne Dover
Series: The Apothecary's Daughter, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Apothecary' Daughter

Loved this story. Narration was excellent. Very descriptive of London Town and the perils of the plague and the Great Fire of London. Loved the characters brought to life amongst the hard times

1 person found this helpful

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Good

Only good. But I did like the time that this was set in a time of historical darkness and despair. But another i hate to say it but predictable love story. Yes it is a good easy read but nothing to write home about.

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  • Tiffany
  • 31-10-2015

Historical Fiction at its Worst.

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.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 04-06-2015

Keeping my attention

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!

26 people found this helpful

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  • Teri
  • 18-06-2012

An enjoyable read

Would you listen to The Apothecary's Daughter again? Why?

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.

What other book might you compare The Apothecary's Daughter to and why?

The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Although the Apothecary's Daugher was easier and quicker to get thru.

Which character – as performed by Anne Dover – was your favorite?

Well of course, Suzanne was my favorite character. What that poor girl put up with but never lost her courage and drive.

Who was the most memorable character of The Apothecary's Daughter and why?

Suzanne again. She faced many trying issues but always saw them thru. Courage could be her middle name.

Any additional comments?

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.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Ivonne
  • 07-04-2013

Simply awful!

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.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Dkssol
  • 12-05-2012

Wonderful story !!

Would you listen to The Apothecary's Daughter again? Why?

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 !!

What did you like best about this story?

Intriguing and a wonderful overall story

Which scene was your favorite?

Ah....if I told you that, I would give the plot and story away !!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The title of the book. The title is what drew me in.

Any additional comments?

Read the book. It's wonderful

11 people found this helpful

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  • Kathleen
  • 28-08-2012

Historic novel of the 1600's.

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.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Shannon Miles
  • 19-08-2019

A nice little series of books.

I've listened to the whole series written by Charlotte Betts. They are charming and written in my favorite time of the late 1800's. Light mystery etc with a strong woman lead and of course a handsome, difficult man, what could be better? Fun and light, perfect for late afternoon listening while knitting or stitching. Enough of a story to keep you wanting to listen. Enjoy.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daria
  • 31-08-2016

Absolutely fabulous book!

Absolutely fabulous book! Great, passionate read! l loved it! very well narrated, and goes by quickly!

1 person found this helpful

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  • K&T
  • 08-06-2016

Wonderful listen for fans of historical fiction!

Charlotte Betts is a new author for me, and I'm so glad I've found her! A wonderful story of loss, resilience, and love. Not always predictable, many twists and turns are handled amazingly well.

The narrator does a fine job, but her voice can often be grating when doing lines where a character is upset---to the point that my pets run from the room! Lol.

Don't let that stop you from listening to this well written, generally well-narrated period piece of the Great Plague and Great Fire of London (1666/67).

1 person found this helpful

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  • SW Florida
  • 12-03-2016

Pleasantly surprised

First time for this author and narrator
Excellent . Although the story line was not what I normally listen to the narrator was wonderful and kept me interested till the end

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • melanie
  • 06-07-2012

Loved it

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.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GlosterLass
  • 11-08-2012

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • R. J. Gladden
  • 30-05-2017

Feel Good Factor

I enjoyed this book thoroughly although some of the descriptions of the plague victims and the death carts carrying the deceased to the pits were a little graphic. The overall story was really enjoyable and relatively light hearted and kept me engrossed until the end and there were just enough villain's in the piece to make it interesting. This is the second of Charlotte Betts books that I've listened to and I shall happily download another.

The narrator, Ann Dover, also played a brilliant part in bringing the book to life and managed to play both male and female voices convincingly.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 07-07-2014

A female perspective in a male dominated society

If you could sum up The Apothecary's Daughter in three words, what would they be?

enjoyable, entertaining, descriptive

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoyed the narrative of this story, the author cleverly painted the scenes you could almost smell the apothecary.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Anne Dover read the story exceptionally well, it flowed and was a delight to listen too.

Any additional comments?

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.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • J
  • 13-04-2013

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wabanti
  • 07-04-2013

Highly recommended

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Very well read. Very engaging story. Amazing characters, it was as if I was there.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Victoria
  • 30-08-2012

Surprisingly Good

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joanne
  • 28-05-2012

Loved it

Lovely atmospheric tale
Didnt want it to end cant wait for her next one really fell in love with the charachters

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs. Avril C. Pucci
  • 05-01-2020

Shows promise at first.

I enjoyed the start of this story but it gradually became less believable & at the same time, predictable. I became quite bored with the story in the last few chapters. It seemed as though I'd heard all this before.

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  • Jason Moore
  • 22-11-2019

A magical journey into the past.

I absolutely loved this story and truly didn't want it to end. A new author for me so I was a little apprehensive, but she included so much historic detail, I have learnt alot from this book (with a little help from Google, I.e. 'a pair of virginals' ??). A very interesting time period, which I haven't explored before. The narration was perfect, Anne Dover has such a beautiful voice, having listened to several books read by her, she is now my absolute favourite narrator. overall, an exception ally good book.