Interactive Historical Fiction e-books
Just Some Weeds from the Wilderness by Patricia Beatty
In an effort to salvage the family finances, Aunt Adelina adapts and markets an old folk medicine recipe, with the help of her niece Lucinda, who is very, very curious about the formula. Inspired by the real-life Lydia Pinkerton but set in Denton, Oregon.
“Soul sister to all of Beatty’s enterprising females, Aunt Adelina sets up her own cottage industry selling homemade cosmetics after Uncle Silas is “ruined” in the Panic of 1873. As reported by niece Lucinda (another Beatty prototype, the spunky preteen), Denton, Oregon, evidently isn’t ready to hear “Avon calling”—there are only nine orders for the “Anti-Time Cream.” So Aunt Adelina goes on to bigger and better things, namely her Mrs. Westlake’s Wonder-Working Elixir, made with “just some weeds from the wilderness” and liberally laced with grain alcohol from the local saloon.
Beatty certainly holds the patent on these formula historical comedies (this one is loosely based on Lydia Pinkham, who did make a mint with her own vegetable tonic). And although this time the story has too many ingredients, especially a rather silly subplot of marital intrigue, it goes down easily—and, like the wonder-working elixir, is a harmless enough pick-me-up.” KIRKUS REVIEW