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The Misbegotten Paperback – 7 Nov 2013


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The Misbegotten + A Half Forgotten Song + The Unseen
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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (7 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140913590X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409135906
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

KATHERINE WEBB was born in 1977 and grew up in Hampshire before reading History at Durham University. She has since spent time living in London and Venice, and now lives near Bath, UK. Having worked as a waitress, au pair, personal assistant, bookbinder, housemaid, library assistant and seller of fairy costumes, she is now a full-time writer. Her debut novel, The Legacy, won the popular vote for the TV Book Club Summer Read 2010 and was shortlisted for Best New Writer at the 2010 Galaxy National Book Awards. Her subsequent novels The Unseen, A Half Forgotten Song and The Misbegotten were all Sunday Times Top Ten Bestsellers, and her books have been translated into 26 languages around the world.



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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By little bookworm on 30 Sep 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The year is 1821 and governess Rachel Crofton, afraid that this may be her last such opportunity, finds herself accepting an offer of marriage from charming wine merchant, Richard Weekes. Rachel finds herself settling into her new quarters in Bath, eager to make her marriage a success. Soon, she is introduced to the Alleyns, old acquaintances of her husband's where she becomes employed as companion to the troubled and reclusive Jonathan; a man tormented by his memories of war and by the disappearance of his childhood sweetheart Alice. Indeed Alice seems to haunt the entire household almost; Rachel too soon drawn into the mystery of what really happened to her.

With each coming book, Webb seems only to go from strength to strength as an author, and the Misbegotten has to be my favourite to date. Unlike in her previous works, there is no modern time frame this time; but the story does still flit back and forth from 1821 to the early 1800s where we are introduced to Alice, ward of Lord Faukes, who has been brought up in a small village by the elderly Bridget and who takes in a young girl found wandering by the house one day as her sister, Starling.

This is a story rich in atmosphere and mystery, with a dark, gothic feel and secrets that are slow to reveal themselves, but rather tease and taunt, turning first one way and then the other. Set in 1800s Bath, Webb recreates the setting and period quite beautifully; reminiscent in some parts of a Jane Austen novel, though the content is far more haunting, and much grittier. Indeed Webb doesn't shy away from painting some truly horrifying scenes of life as a soldier in the Peninsular war, where Jonathan Alleyn once served and has since been driven almost mad by all that he saw and took part of.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By WindsorMummy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Without a doubt, I think this is Katherine Webb's best book to date. The story is beautifully written, and Katherine's skill at transporting the reader to the time and places she describes is second to none. I love the historical detail she masterfully weaves into the plot; it really is a feast for the senses as the reader truly visualises what she describes. Yes, it is a long read, but very worth it. I was so eager to finish the book but felt rather bereft once I had as I felt I had gotten to know the characters. Katherine Webb is such a skilled storyteller; for the life of me I cannot fathom why some other reviewers have felt disappointed with this exceptional book!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ozzie on 26 Jan 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I seem to be in the minority but found this book really hard going especially after enjoying The Legacy so much. The main characters were really difficult to care about, the storyline was long and drawn out and in parts downright boring. I really struggled to finish the book and at times felt like giving up completely. It took me over a month to read it which must be an all time record for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Julia on 4 Jun 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the past, I have very much enjoyed Katherine Webb's books, but this book was disappointing. I almost gave up on it but did continue to the end. I found it to be a very dark and miserable story, so very different to the brilliant ' The Legacy' novel. The Misbegotten was very well written but the story seemed relentless in its mystery, deceit and squalor and I found it difficult to relate to any of the characters. However, it will not put me off of reading Katherine's books as she is a brilliant writer.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. D.D. Colin-Jones on 26 Nov 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, it had me hooked from the beginning and the twist and turns were brilliant. I didn't even guess the ending which is a small miracle for me.
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Essie Fox on 5 Aug 2013
Format: Hardcover
I must first admit that I know katherine Webb personally, and also that we share a publisher. But it is always my policy never to review a book that I have not loved, and having read The Misbegotten I can honestly say that I did love it.

Katherine often writes with two time frames - with contemporary and historical characters. The Misbegotten remains entirely grounded in the early 1800s. It is all the stronger for that. The story is enthralling. A gritty, beautiful, heart-breaking romance which has an almost Wuthering Heights sense of intensity to the passion between two of the characters - both of whom you will fall in love with too. But this novel is so much more than romance - it's about shame, and loss, and regret. At its centre is a secret that is almost too unbearable to share - and all the more satisfying for that.

It's been some time since I became entirely immersed in a novel. This is in no small way due to Katherine's wonderful story-telling gift. In The Misbegotten the characters are so well rounded, warts and all, that you cannot fail to think of them as real. Because of this, and also the twisting clues that are deftly laid in this mystery, I found myself yearning to get back to the novel every time I put it down.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Georgie Norton on 30 Aug 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought this was a real page turner ....couldnt put it down...romping good holiday read but to be absolutely honest it went a bit loopy at the end...anyway having said this...still enjoyed it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By tracey finn on 23 Jan 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story would have been better had one of the main characters not gone off to war and had the book not focused so much on his experiences of the war. Kept my interest but I skipped quite a bit of the war detail. Not as good as the previous novel A Half Forgotten Song.
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