Here is my first YA Historical Fiction book of 2011. One down, 11 more to go!
The Poison Diaries by Mayrose Wood with The Duchess of Northumberland
“In the right dose, everything is poison.”
In 18th century England motherless Jessamine Luxton and her father live in an abandoned abbey on the sprawling grounds of the Duke of Northumberland’s estate. Thomas Luxton is a botanist and apothecary, charged with creating and providing medicines to the duke and those he employs, bu this life;s dream is to uncover the secrets of poisonous plants. Jessamine lives a quiet, solitary life helping her father tend his gardens. Despite her labors, she is forbidden to participate in his studies just as she is forbidden to go near the padlocked poison garden, which is full of beautiful and deadly plants. Their quiet existence is shattered by the sudden arrival of a strange and mysterious boy called Weed. Thomas is thrilled to have Weed, as he seems to hold the key to unravelling the mysteries of the plant world. He has knowledge of plants and their uses that Thomas can only dream of knowing. But Weed is not interested in sharing. Instead he is content to explore the countryside with Jessamine. The more time the pair spends together, the closer they become. Jessamine gains Weed’s trust and she begins to fall in love with him as he opens up to her and shares his secrets. Thomas encourages their relationship and soon the couple is betrothed. Their happiness is shattered when Jessamine suddenly falls ill. Weed, with his unusual knowledge of plants, is the only one who can save her, but at a price. Is he willing to sacrifice everything in order to save his love?
This turned out to be a quick read with a surprising twist. I enjoyed learning about the different plants and their uses, but the botany lessons are not overwhelming. The romance is intense but chaste, and there is just a touch of the supernatural. The story got off to a slow start, but I kept with it and was rewarded with a fast-paced and thought-provoking, cliffhanger ending. This is the first book in a planned trilogy and I look forward to learning more about Weed and his Poison Diaries.
To learn more about the real Poison Gardens of Northumberland check out this website.
If you enjoyed A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray or Need by Carrie Jones, you may enjoy The Poison Diaries.
It’s Friday and I have almost completed my reading goals. I still need to read a graphic novel this weekend and am so close to being done with Virals, and it’s a good thing because I have The Wake of the Lorelei Lee, by L.A. Meyer. That’s right folks, I have another Jacky Faber book *happy dance* Oh, it’s been so long. I can’t wait.
Have a great weekend and Happy Reading!