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The Lost Apothecary

Women’s History Month meets historical fiction meets suspense/thriller! Both Amy and I loved this book and the fact that it made Amy want to put her boots on and try her hand at mudlarking! (Don’t know what that is? Better read the book!)

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries. Meanwhile, in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive. With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.

Guarantee a lively book club meeting with this publisher-sponsored reading recommendation and discussion material. BookPage Reading Circle provides all the resources you need to inspire your book club’s next get-together. Click here to download The Book Club Kit.

Book review: Four Lost Cities

Picture of book cover for Four Lost Cities

From Hannah, our newest employee: Is your New Year’s resolution to read more nonfiction? Do you normally think of nonfiction books as a dry read filled with facts and no intrigue? Or are you simply fascinated with archology and anthropology?

Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age by Annalee Newitz is steeped in fact, but reads as a fiction at times, as they weave together archeological evidence into a vibrant picture of the lives the ancient people may have led. The focus of this book is on the people who inhabited these “lost “cities, thereby making it immediately more relatable than you would expect.

W. W. Norton Review: “A quest to explore some of the most spectacular ancient cities in human history―and figure out why people abandoned them.

In Four Lost Cities, acclaimed science journalist Annalee Newitz takes readers on an entertaining and mind-bending adventure into the deep history of urban life. Investigating across the centuries and around the world, Newitz explores the rise and fall of four ancient cities, each the center of a sophisticated civilization: the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Central Turkey, the Roman vacation town of Pompeii on Italy’s southern coast, the medieval megacity of Angkor in Cambodia, and the indigenous metropolis Cahokia, which stood beside the Mississippi River where East St. Louis is today.

Newitz travels to all four sites and investigates the cutting-edge research in archaeology, revealing the mix of environmental changes and political turmoil that doomed these ancient settlements. Tracing the early development of urban planning, Newitz also introduces us to the often anonymous workers―slaves, women, immigrants, and manual laborers―who built these cities and created monuments that lasted millennia.

Four Lost Cities is a journey into the forgotten past, but, foreseeing a future in which the majority of people on Earth will be living in cities, it may also reveal something of our own fate.”