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Precious Bane

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By: (1881-1927)

"Precious Bane" by Mary Webb is a beautifully written novel that transported me back in time to rural England in the early 19th century. The story follows the life of Prue Sarn, a young woman with a physical deformity that sets her apart from the rest of her community. Despite facing prejudice and hardship, Prue's strength of character and determination shine through as she navigates love, loss, and family secrets.

Webb's prose is rich and evocative, drawing readers into the world of the Sarn family and the rugged Shropshire countryside. The novel is steeped in folklore and superstition, adding an element of mystery and magic to the narrative. Prue's journey is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and the supporting cast of characters, from her loving brother Gideon to the enigmatic Kester Woodseaves, add depth and complexity to the story.

Overall, "Precious Bane" is a compelling and unforgettable read that explores themes of beauty, resilience, and the power of love. Webb's lyrical writing and vivid descriptions make this novel a true gem of English literature.

Book Description:
Published in 1924, Precious Bane is a novel by Mary Webb which touches on ambition, prejudice and hatred but also on the power of love. Prue Sarn is a farm girl in rural Shropshire during the period of the Napoleonic Wars and is viewed with suspicion by the local community because of having been born with a harelip. Her ambitious and domineering brother betrays her and her superstitious neighbours accuse her of witchcraft. An itinerant weaver Kester Woodseaves, makes his living by weaving for the local people in their homes. Like Prue, he loves the natural world and comes to recognises Prue's inner strength and beauty.

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