In the right dose, everything is a poison
My Review of The Poison Diaries
What a weird little book of weirdness. It’s a bit dark and a bit gothic and was hitting just the right note for a book to read at the change of the seasons.
It starts out ok, a story set sometime in the 1700’s about Jessamine, a teenage girl living in a disused chapel with her botanist healer father. Jessamine’s father has a poison garden that she is not allowed into. Of course, that’s the only thing she really wants out of life, to get into this garden and to be allowed to take care of the plants.
Then Weed turns up, a malnourished and shy boy the same age as Jessamine, who has some strange knowledge of plants and their uses. Her father takes him in and Jessamine cares for him and brings him back to health.
The inevitable happens and Jessamine falls in love with Weed. She finds out his secret about the plants, and yes it’s odd, but not that odd, and I’m thinking: ok, I can go with this. Until Jessamine gets sick and then the weirdness is truly unleashed and at that point, it lost me. I skim read the last few chapters because I just couldn’t believe the tangent it had gone off on.
The switches to Weed’s voice just didn’t work for me and the story, in general, went too far into unbelievable silliness.
I loved the Gothic tone of the book but I just can’t get on board with the ending.