Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Precious Bane by Mary Webb

Category: Historical romance, classic
Published: 1924
Review: 5/5 stars

I believe that Precious Bane by Mary Webb may be the best kept secret in the world of literature. It could be the most beautiful book I have ever read. I think it is a love story that should be remembered and loved by generations but instead is not very widely known. This may be because it is not an easy book to read. The book is written in the voice of Prue Sarn, a country girl living in Shropshire, England around 1820. She tells the story in dialect and it is not easy to understand. I think I was pretty lost for the first couple of chapters until I started getting used to the language. I had to look up several words and I found that looking them up online was easier because often times the words were spelled differently than they are now or they were obsolete words that aren't used anymore. A regular dictionary wasn't much help in those cases. It didn't take too long though to get caught up in this wonderful story.

Most books I've read that are set during this time period are mainly about the upper-class people or the very poor. Precious Bane is about the working class people, the farmers mostly and other townsfolk and I learned more about their traditions and superstitions. These things play a big role in the story.

I've purposely not said much about the storyline because I think it's best to just let it unfold to the reader. It is not easy reading but I believe anyone who puts in the effort to read this wonderful book will be richly rewarded.

Rating: 2.2.1 There are not any descriptions of sex but there is a little sexual content. There is also some violence including cruelty to animals.


melissa @ 1lbr said...

I ADORED this book. Why don't more people know about it?

Unknown said...

I had never heard of it but just ordered it on Amazon and i am very excited to read it. Thanks for the heads up!

Kim said...

Melissa: Isn't it amazing that so few people know about this wonderful book?

Kate: I'm so excited for you to read it. Let me know what you think when you're done.

Unknown said...

Got it, read it, loved it :-)

I can't believe i've missed it all these years, it was great. Thank you so much for recommending it! I am now doing the same to everyone I know.