Monday, March 7, 2011

50 Books in a Year: Book #11 The Apothecary's Daughter

          When I was in junior high I read my fair share of tawdry romance novels. I blush (out of embarrassment, as well as rememberance) just thinking about the list of titles: Windmills of the Gods, Bloodline, Fine Things, Now and Forever, to name a few, Silouette and Harlequin Romances (too many to name or remember) and old gems like Forever Amber. I'd read these books at school, a group of us girls taking turns with them stuffing them in our lockers underneath our Cosmo magazines so our moms wouldn't find out about either. We'd wait in the halls or find one another at lunch and whisper about the dirty passages. I learned some of my best vocab words from these books.
          I'd like to say that I've grown up, but really, I haven't. On Fridays Christopher Lee watches the tiny tot while I go hang out and last Friday my friends and I were at the local bookstore Lebanon Books (I hadn't been since they moved across town and wanted to see the new digs), it was raining and we had an hour to kill before our movie started. We fannied about the various aisles...New Releases, Cookbooks, Classics, and ended up at the Romance section. We had to have spent at least 20 minutes there, reading the silly covers and looking for the dirty sections, which we read aloud at barely a whisper and then laughed like 7th graders. It was...well, it was hilarious, especially now that so many romances novels are about vampires and werewolves as well as pirates, prison inmates and vikings.
          You see, I'm a firm believer that romance novels aren't meant to be bought, they're meant to be laughed at in bookstores or borrowed and stuffed in lockers only to come out during lunch or study hall in junior high. So, imagine my complete and utter disappointment when, for our annual Christmas book exchange at school, I received not only a romance, but a Christian one (no dirty scenes) at that.
          It's called The Silent Governess and, frankly, I have no idea what it is about because it's been on loan to so many sophomore girls since one of them spotted it on my desk in early January that I barely remember the cover. And, everytime one brings it back she gushes about how marvelous it is and another ask to borrow it. This whole entire phenomenon has me intrigued. My curiousity was piqued even more when my cousin mentioned another book by this author, called The Apothecary's Daughter, that she downloaded for free on her Kindle. I posted about it on FB and sure enough there were more people who liked The Silent Governess and The Apothecary's Daughter, some of them even claimed that knowing me, they thought I would like them too. The Silent Governess is still on loan, but I now have The Apothecary's Daughter on my Nook...a free download.
           And, well, it's pretty good so far--really. The main character is strong-willed and determined to do what she wants, the plot is not determined by the sex scenes in the midst of it, it's set in London and other parts of England, it's a little suspenseful as Lilly is pretending her father isn't sick so she can be an apothecary and her mother just disappeared one day. It isn't quiet the clear cut read I assumed it would be. Maybe, just maybe, Julie Klassen, I'll read The Silent Governess after all, that is as soon as I finish this one!



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