The Hemlock Cure

The Hemlock Cure


It is 1665 and the women of Eyam keep many secrets.

Isabel Frith, the village midwife, walks a dangerous line with her herbs and remedies. There are men in the village who speak of witchcraft, and Isabel has a past to hide. So she tells nobody her fears about Wulfric, the pious, reclusive apothecary.

Mae, Wulfric's youngest daughter, dreads her father's rage if he discovers what she keeps from him. Like her feelings for Rafe, Isabel's ward, or that she studies from Wulfric's forbidden books at night.

But others have secrets too. Secrets darker than any of them could have imagined.

When Mae makes a horrifying discovery, Isabel is the only person she can turn to. But helping Mae will place them both in unspeakable peril.

And meanwhile another danger is on its way from London. One that threatens to engulf them all . . .

Based on the real history of an English village during the Great Plague, The Hemlock Cure is an utterly beguiling tale of fear and ambition, betrayal, self-sacrifice and the unbreakable bond between two women.

Our Review

The Hemlock Cure was a refreshing and unexpected read. I haven't read many books from this time period and I enjoyed reading the bits referencing the plague and the unnusual medicines people turned to when trying to protect themselves and their loved ones. 

I felt that it was quite slow to start but once it got started I was intrigued to find out what happened to Mae and her mysterious sister Leah. I found the main plot of the story was secondary to me compared to the relationship between Mae and her father. She had an uneasy existance with him since the death of her mother and sister and despite being a well respected member of the community it is clear to the reader she has something to fear.

The Hemlock Cure was one of those books that is filled with vivid characters and the kind of writing that transports you directly to the scene being described. 

"The baby, when it eventually it came, slipped from her body like St Margaret from the dragon's belly. Mother's groan was death itself. And the little scrap, like a skinned rabbit, lay lifeless on the linen between her legs."

The Hemlock Cure is a winning book in my eyes.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 4/5

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