I accepted this because of the blurb, and the quite professional looking cover. I was expecting a nice paranormal-historical mix with a bit of romance to bind the thing together. What I got was a mix that needed a lot more stirring.
When Claire discovers that she is the heiress of a big property, she finds out the girl from her dreams used to live here once. Is she going crazy, or is there more going on here?
I really liked Claire's voice, and her friendship with best friend Emily. The spooky-little-girl-in-your-dreams concept might not be very new any more, but I still enjoy a good ghost story. Unluckily, this story didn't get its cold-shivers moments from the ghost plot, but of the crazily irresponsible choices Claire makes.
I'm going to rant & spoil a little bit in this part. I've warned you.
How in earth can a woman marry a man that she has met two days ago? And even better, adopt a kid with him, the day after? I have asked the author about Claire's personality, and she told me she had to make her impulsive to make it believable that she would actually enter a haunted house. I agree, I think it's good the author thought of this. But oh my... this goes far beyond impulsive. This is completely insane. Who wants to commit oneself for a lifetime with a guy who might as well be a mafia-boss and a kid to complete the instant family? Really, things like this make me scared. I can imagine divorce rates are so high in the US if everyone has this mindset...
End of little rant. Completely organised thoughts coming up.
I think this book would have been a lot better if Ms Bayarr had picked up her story, thrown it in a mixer, and let it whirr for a long, long time. It has great elements, but it has such a clear structure that in the whole middle part of the book, there isn't even talk about the ghost. It goes a bit like this: introduction with the spooky ones, romance, romance, romance, put spooky ones to rest. I would have liked the romance spread out over the entire story a lot better. Now romance is the focus point of the whole middle part, taking the speed out of the ghost story. And don't get me started on the so-called "romance" again. I've been there already.
The Apothecary has everything a story needs, it has a likeable narrator (when she's not off doing something irresponsible), it has some cozy mystery. It took Claire a little while to understand what really happened at the manor, but I liked how everything was wrapped up. If you have nothing to read on a rainy day, I would certainly recommend this, just with a slight warning.