Publication Date: July 2010
Tags: poison, 18th century, historical fiction, secret gardens
Series: 1st in a trilogy
Book Acquisition: ARC from BEA
My Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars
Jessamine Luxson lives with her father, Thomas, an apothecary, in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle. Thomas’s pride and obsession is his locked garden full of dangerous plants, which Jessamine is forbidden to enter.
When a traveler brings an orphan to their cottage, he claims the boy has special gifts that Thomas might value. Jessamine is drawn to the strange but intriguing boy, called Weed. Soon their friendship deepens into love. Finally, Weed shares his secret: He can communicate with plants. For him they have distinct personalities—and some are even murderous. From the locked garden the poisonous plants call to Weed, luring him with promises of deadly power.
When Jessamine falls inexplicably ill, only Weed’s relationship with the Poisons can save her. But Thomas is determined to exploit Weed’s abilities, even if it risks Jessamine’s life—or drives Weed to the brink of madness.…
I gotta say, this one threw me for a bit of a loop. The book moved a long at a good pace, and I thought I had a handle on what was going on but then, pretty much all of a sudden, I felt like the floor at dropped out from under me. I was confused and disorientated and by the end of the book, I still wasn't quite sure what had happened.
Sound intriguing? Hope so, because I sure thought it was.
While, I don't know if I'm exactly happy with the twists, I am desprate for the next book! I'm dying to find out what will happen (what DID happen) and what other secrets the author chooses to share with us.
The characters were very well developed and easy to like (or hate) as the case may be. While the ending was a bit confusing for me, I did like the change in POV. It added a layer to the story that would have been lost if we only heard from one character the whole time.
I almost feel like I need to re-read the ending. Maybe pay more attention? I really do feel like I missed something. But like I said, I'm supper excited for the next installment! So much more could happen!
Reminded Me Of: Green Angel and Green Witch by Alice Hoffman. The backgrounds of the worlds and characters are very different but the overall setting was the same - small town, local somewhat secluded family, green growing things that play an integral part in the story.
Who Would Enjoy It: Fans of fantasy who like a historical bases to their stories. Fans of mysteries who like twists and don't mind small cliff hanger like endings.
Books in the Series:
The Poison Diaries
Book 2 (Summer 2011)
Book 3 (?)
Blazer and Bray (Harper Collins Publishers)
*The Poison Diaries is based on a concept by The Duchess of Northumberland. As the mistress of Alnwick Castle in northern England, she has created the world-famous Poison Garden. For more information check out the websites for Alnwick Castle and the Alnwick Garden.