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The Misbegotten by Katherine Webb

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Posts: 4312
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

The Misbegotten by Katherine Webb

Post by Vanessa » Wed June 26th, 2013, 9:02 am

The Misbegotten by Katherine Webb

Bath, 1821. Rachel Crofton seizes the opportunity to leave behind the binds of her unhappy employment as a governess and start a new life as the wife of a charming self-made merchant. Through her new husband's connections Rachel is invited to become the companion of the reclusive Jonathan Alleyn, a man tortured by memories of what he witnessed in the Peninsula War, and tormented by the disappearance of his childhood sweetheart, Alice, 12 years ago. Rachel's arrival into the grand house on Lansdown Crescent has a mysterious effect on those who live there, and suddenly it seems the secrets and dark deeds of the past can no longer be swept away. Starling, foundling servant to the Alleyn family, is convinced that Alice, the woman she felt as close to as a sister, was stolen from her. She is determined to uncover the truth about Alice's disappearance. Did she run away? Was there someone else? Or did something altogether darker occur? Others want only to forget, and will go to extreme lengths to do so. All is refinement and politeness in the grand drawing rooms of Bath society, but there are shattering truths lurking in the lives hidden behind closed doors. Rachel's marriage is far from the partnership she had hoped for, and her husband has troubling secrets of his own. She is drawn to Starling and her obsessive need to find the truth about her beloved Alice. As, together, they seek answers, they learn that courage comes at a high price, and that to resist the constraints of their social position is to risk everything.

My Review:

A compelling, absorbing and intriguing story about how secrets can come back to haunt us! Set in Bath in the 1800s, Rachel Crofton, a governess, marries a wine merchant and through him comes into contact with Jonathan Allen, a man who has suffered the horrors of war. He is also tormented by memories of his childhood sweetheart, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared whilst he was away fighting. With the help of Starling, Jonathan's servant and also Alice's close companion, they try to discover the truth - what really did happen to Alice?

I thought this was a fabulous read and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I loved the style of writing. It had me eagerly turning the pages to find out what happened and I was quite sad when I closed the book for the final time. The characters are well drawn and defined - Starling was my favourite for her sheer determination. There's a gripping plot at its heart which was well thought out and doesn't lose its pace. An enjoyable and fascinating tale which contains a little bit of everything - murder, mystery and a hint of romance.

This is the first book which I have read by Katherine Webb and it certainly won't be my last! Indeed, I have the rest of her books on my bookshelves and I look forward to reading each one.

Many thanks to www.lovereading.co.uk for sending this book to me to read and review. I wasn't disappointed.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Post by Brenna » Fri August 2nd, 2013, 12:47 am

Thanks for the review, this sounds like something I will love! While this particular book is currently difficult to find in my part of the woods, she has others I have added to my TBR pile

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Currently reading: "Keeping a Christmas Promise" by Jo Thomas
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime, dual time-frame
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Fri August 2nd, 2013, 8:25 am

Yes, I've got all of her others on various tbr piles too!
Currently reading: "Keeping a Christmas Promise" by Jo Thomas.

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