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The Pharmacist's Wife

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

March 2018 Book of the Month

Oh my, this is a fascinating, darkly powerful novel with biting attitude, set in Victorian Edinburgh. In the laboratory above a newly opened pharmacy, a wonder-drug is created, as the pharmacist experiments, his wife of six months discovers a world she couldn’t have imagined. Kindness and love sit at the very heart of this novel, however light can be so easily doused, and a bleak and twisted shadow menaces the pages. This may be a blistering Victorian drama, yet the characters feel so very real, their thoughts and feelings could easily be exposed today. Vanessa Tait writes with a provocative, combative pen, my mind flinched, my heart ached, and yet hope existed within the very centre of my being.  Raw, elemental and disturbing, The Pharmacist’s Wife is an entirely captivating, enthralling read - highly recommended.

Liz Robinson

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Reader Reviews

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Prepare to immerse yourself in Victorian times and live amongst the daily trials faced by Rebecca Palmer, a woman who on the face of things should be happy, but definitely isn’t.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I was intrigued but unsure if I would like it. How wrong! It’s a fantastic insightful book. Having finished it I feel like I have lived along with the characters and found myself totally immersed in life in Victorian Edinburgh. The story felt incredibly real and the underlying emotions captured through the theme of drug addiction was fascinating and wholly believable.... Read Full Review

Julie Watkin

A strong story that is enticing from the start and tells a tale of addiction and desire in the Victorian Edinburgh. Lightly sprinkled with historical detail and overall a great read. Would recommend.

The Pharmacist's Wife uses the Victorian period as the backdrop for a tale of deception and desire. Rebecca appears to be a typical character of the era, married in the knick of time after her father's death to a Pharmacist she doesn't really know. The couple live in Edinburgh, with Alexander owning and running his own pharmacy.

 The plot then delves deeper. The development of Alexander's new miracle drug heroin is said to be the ideal drug to relieve women of the hysteria and stresses of the world. Developed for a time where a small number of  "deviant" and corrupting women were starting to demand more equal rights. A poignant topic with this year's Vote100 anniversary.

At times this book is tragic, filled with twists, turns, secrets, scandal and addiction.... Read Full Review

Charlotte Walker

A Edinburgh of gas lamps, horse drawn trams and carts. The atmosphere this author has conjured up is magnificent. You live in Edinburgh of the mid 1800's and savour every moment.

When Alexander opens his new pharmacy, things look rosy for him and his new wife Rebecca. But all is not as it seems. This was a delicious tale. Love, desire, vengeance are all present. Also throw in drug addiction and you have a deadly alchemy.  Set in Victorian Edinburgh this is a gothic tale. Where men rule and women are mere chattels . They are expected to obey men in all they say and subvert their own opinions and beliefs to the male of the species. 

A story that entertains, grips and has readers shaking their head in wonder and incredulity. A tale that has the reader smelling the atmosphere of Victorian Edinburgh. A Edinburgh of gas lamps, horse drawn trams and carts. The atmosphere this author has conjured up is magnificent. You live in Edinburgh of the mid 1800's and savour every moment.... Read Full Review

Alfred Nobile