My friends at Pegasus Books sent me a galley of The Hemlock Cure and it was definitely a unique read. Oddly reminiscent of Hamnet, it tells the story of the village of Eyam during the 1600’s in England. It is beautifully written and memorable. To escape into this book is to escape into a different time.
It is 1665 and the women of Eyam village keep many secrets. Especially Isabel and Mae.
Isabel Frith, the village midwife, walks a dangerous line with her herbs and remedies. There are men in the village who speak of witchcraft, and Isabel has a past to hide. So, she tells nobody her fears about the pious, reclusive apothecary, on whom she is keeping a watchful eye.
Mae, the apothecary’s youngest daughter, dreads her father’s rage if he discovers what she keeps from him: her feelings for Rafe, Isabel’s ward, or the fact that she studies from her father’s books at night.
But others have secrets too. Secrets darker than any of them could have imagined.
When Mae makes a horrifying discovery, Isabel is the only person she can turn to. But helping Mae will place them both in unimaginable peril. Meanwhile another danger is on its way from London, one that threatens to engulf them all…
Based on the real history of an English village during the Great Plague, The Hemlock Cure is an utterly beguiling tale of fear and ambition, betrayal, self-sacrifice and the unbreakable bond between two women.
About the Author: Joanne Burn lives in the Peak District of England, where she is as a writing coach. Her first novel, Petals and Stones, was published in 2018 by Little Brown UK. The Hemlock Cure is her first novel to be published in America.
I did a little research on Eyam and found this interesting article:
Thank you for my review copy!