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Publisher's Summary

The Fair Botanists is a bewitching and immersive story for fans of Jessie Burton, Sarah Perry and The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock.

Could one rare plant hold the key to a thousand riches?

It's the summer of 1822, and Edinburgh is abuzz with rumours of King George IV's impending visit. In botanical circles, however, a different kind of excitement has gripped the city. In the newly installed Botanic Garden, the Agave Americana plant looks set to flower - an event that only occurs once every few decades. 

When newly widowed Elizabeth arrives in Edinburgh to live with her late husband's aunt, Clementina, she's determined to put her unhappy past in London behind her. As she settles into her new home, she becomes fascinated by the beautiful Botanic Garden which borders the grand house and offers her services as an artist to record the rare plant's impending bloom. In this pursuit, she meets Belle Brodie, a vivacious young woman with a passion for botany and the lucrative, dark art of perfume creation. 

Belle is determined to keep both her real identity and the reason for her interest in the garden secret from her new friend. But as Elizabeth and Belle are about to discover, secrets don't last long in this Enlightenment city.... 

And when they are revealed, they can carry the greatest of consequences.

©2021 Sara Sheridan (P)2021 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

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  • 11-08-21

Cringey narrator

Story was interesting enough but the narrator had a really toe-crawling way of emphasising points which spoiled it for me. I live in Edinburgh, so knowing the locations made me enjoy it more than I probably would have done otherwise.