Reviewed by Ceri Kehoe
This book follows on from The Apothecary's Daughter. The Painter's Apprentice follows Susannah's daughter Beth Ambrose. It's 1688 and they
live in Merryfields, a place where people can stay if they suffer from
melancholia or depression. Beth has got close to Johannes, a painter and
resident at Merryfields. He nurtures her talent and if you like becomes
Noah Leyton arrives from America and Beth who has already decided
that she isn't going to marry but devote her life to painting is shocked
when she discovers she has feelings for him.
With political tensions rising, a mysterious guest comes to stay but just who is she and what connections does she have?
I find myself writing this just days after Betts won Historical
Romantic Novel for The Apothecary's Daughter at the RoNA's! I must
mention first that I'm quite particular in reading a series in order, I
feel that when reading a second (third or more) in a series, you miss
out on how relationships are built and how characters are perceived, I
don't fully understand the workings of a relationship between characters
if I haven't started from the beginning.
I did enjoy this book despite getting a bit confused at to who was
related to who but that didn't spoil it for me, historically the facts
were all correct and the descriptions of things like the gardens,
flowers, even the River Thames was just how I imagined it to be, nothing
was left out!
All the characters were people I could relate to, whether I liked
them or not was another thing! I wasn't too keen on Cecily, Beth's
sister or their step grandmother Lady Arabella. There were a few comical
characters in the book including Joshua and Samuel, Beth's uncles, they
were a pair of rascals!
I'd recommend this book, particulary if you read and enjoyed The Apothecary's Daughter. A four out of five star read for me.
I'd like to thank Madeleine at Piatkus for sending us a copy of this book to review.