The Apothecary’s Garden by Jeanette Lynes

If you’re looking for romance and whimsy and magic, look no further than Jeanette Lyne’s newest novel. The Apothecary’s Garden offers readers a blossoming escape where magic is real and human interactions are oh, so civil.

Set in 1860 Ontario, this Victorian romp marries the magical with the sensorial. As a gardener who knows the healing properties of flowers and plants, the protagonist ekes out a living for herself and her ward by selling blooms at the local train station. Lavender’s circumstances are bleak; she is undernourished and on the brink of losing her family home, her beloved garden, and all that her mother and father built before her. Not quite a pauper, but close. How Dickensian! Winds begin to shift when a mysterious Medium, Miss Trout, and her equally mysterious attendant, Robert, come to town.

Lynes is a skillful writer, capturing the Victorian vernacular with ease and bringing her characters to life through thoughtfully researched detail. Part Phantom of the Opera, part Jane Eyre (with a dash of Whitman), if you are suffering from a case of the morbs, The Apothecary’s Garden is your balm. Enchantments abound and broken hearts become whole in this spellcasting novel.

*This review was originally posted at Prairie Flower Reads and is reproduced here with their kind permission. © 2021 Prairie Flower Reads. All rights reserved.


JEANETTE LYNES grew up in rural southern Ontario. She is the author of seven collections of poetry and two novels. Her first, The Factory Voice (2009), was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her second, The Small Things That End the World (2018), won the Saskatchewan Book Award for fiction. The director of the MFA in writing program at the University of Saskatchewan, Jeanette Lynes splits her time between Toronto and Saskatoon. 

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperAvenue (June 28 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 144346466X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1443464666

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Kate O’Gorman is a writer and editor who lives on the Saskatchewan prairie traditionally known as Treaty 4 Territory near the city of Moose Jaw. She is the Prose Editor for Grain Magazine, and her work has appeared in The New Quarterly, Grain, Qwerty, and elsewhere. Kate holds an MFA in Writing and reviews books @prairieflowerreads.