An enchanting and spirited historical novel about the language of flowers and the supernatural power of love.
THE APOTHECARY’S GARDEN
by Jeanette Lynes
HarperCollins Canada, June 2022
Belleville 1860: Lavender Fitch is a twenty-eightyear-old spinster, whose station in life is diminished after the death of her father, the local apothecary. Her only inheritance is the family house along with its extensive gardens. To make ends meet, Lavender resorts to selling flowers at the local market.
Then, one day, a glamorous couple step off the train at the railway station. The lady is famed Spirit Medium, Allegra Trout, who casts a spell over the town with her striking beauty and otherworldly charms. Her handsome but disfigured assistant, Robert, singles out Lavender and buys her entire cart of flowers.
The arrival of the legendary Medium is well-timed. Lavender has been searching for a secret cache of money and requires Allegra’s help to contact her dead mother for clues to its hidden location. As the town’s anticipation for Allegra’s final show begins to mount, so do Lavender’s questions. Will the spirits make contact, or is Allegra a fraud? Is Robert really Allegra’s brother, or is something else going on? Will Robert and Lavender’s relationship continue to blossom or collapse under the weight of deception? Will Lavender find the money left by her mother or be forced from her home and beloved garden?
Jeanette Lynes is the author of seven collections of poetry and two novels. Her first, The Factory Voice (2009), was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Jeanette directs the MFA in Writing program at the University of Saskatchewan.