The Fair Botanists is a bewitching and immersive story for fans of Jessie Burton, Sarah Perry and The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock.
'Compelling, fascinating . . . A cracking good read'
'Dazzling, original, full of wonderful characters'
'Beautiful . . . Every sentence is a gift'
'A seductive, sensory romp'
'Beguiles in all the senses'
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 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.
'Perfectly paced, romantic and full of intrigue. A truly wonderful story' Vikki Patis
'A vibrant, evocative novel about female friendship, empowerment and transformation' Nikki Marmery
'A fascinating and beautiful evocation of Edinburgh. I didn't want it to end' Elisabeth Gifford
'A seductive and sensual novel from a writer at the height of her powers. Captured my senses, and my heart' Essie Fox
'Immersive and engaging. A cleverly crafted novel offering a heady mix of secrets, intrigue, skulduggery and romance. I couldn't put it down!' Anita Frank
'Historical fiction at its best, full of atmosphere, with beautifully drawn characters and a thoroughly intriguing story' Frances Quinn
'Evocative and sumptuously imagined. I wa
A seductive, sensory romp through Georgian Edinburgh. Hugely enjoyable. Highly recommended
Dazzling, original, full of wonderful characters and so interesting! Anyone who's ever looked at a flower will love it as much as I do.
The cinematic prologue had me instantly hooked, as did the world of botany, perfume, potions and intrigue. Sara's characters are wonderfully drawn, the writing is so evocative, and sumptuously imagined. Not since Patrick Suskind's Perfume has a book had such a strong sensory impact on me. I was intoxicated! A feast for the senses... The Fair Botanists is dazzling.
Perfectly paced, romantic and full of intrigue, The Fair Botanists is a truly wonderful story where women take centre stage. The writing is exquisite.
Sprinkled with deliciously tantalising scandal and intrigue, and colourful, engaging characters. A sheer joy to read
There's no enlightenment without enlightening women, and Sara Sheridan gives us two great ones to reckon with in Belle and Elizabeth. The Fair Botanists gives us a glimpse into the complex life of Edinburgh in the 1820's with joyous female characters at the heart of the story
Historical fiction at its best, full of atmosphere, with beautifully drawn characters and a thoroughly intriguing story
What a setting and cast of characters! This seductive and sensual novel comes from a writer at the height of her powers. Captured my senses, and my heart
Sara Sheridan is an Edinburgh-based writer of over 20 books. As well as the Mirabelle Bevan Mysteries she writes historical novels based in the late-Georgian and early Victorian period. She has also written non-fiction, including remapping Scotland according to women's history for Historic Environment Scotland. She has been named one of the Saltire Society's 365 most influential women, past and present.
Sara tweets about her writing life as @sarasheridan and has a Facebook page at @sarasheridanwriter.