Review: The Misbegotten by Katherine Webb

The life of a small English town is not always as monotonous and dull as you may expect. Moreover the people are not who they pretend to be.

Rachel is an educated young woman, working as a governess. She lost her family years ago and when a handsome businessman declares his love and asks her hand in marriage, Rachel gladly accepts, hoping to gain a new family. As soon as the newlyweds move to their new house, Rachel realizes that they have completely different views on marriage. Richard spends his days and often nights at work or at the pub, and Rachel left alone in their cold house without one soul to speak to. Not quite a family she wished for.

Due to her kind heart and strong will, soon Rachel gains new friends; a lonely and always drunk father in-law, a society lady with a secret of her own, a wild servant waiting for revenge and a sick young man accused of a murder.

A few years ago, at a secluded farm near Bath, Alice – the example of beauty, kindness, and grace finds a little girl who she takes in her house. Their life for several years seems like a tiny paradise on Earth – where understanding, love, mutual affection and laughter reign. Alice is in love with Jonathan, the grandson of her patron, and young people are dreaming about their happy future together. However, one gloomy morning in February, their paradise turns into hell as Alice goes out on a daily walk and does not return.

Determinate to discover the truth about town’s most hidden crime of the disappearance of a beautiful Alice, Rachel founds herself tangled in the net of the most shocking secrets.

This is a story about love, revenge, secrets, mistakes, atonement, forgiveness and war. All the characters are as real as living people.

As in her other book I have recently read (The Unseen), Katherine Webb does it again: creates the most amazing, mysterious atmosphere of a 19th-century English town. She gives me that Brontë sisters vibe I enjoy so much and together with a delinquency and many family secrets creates a perfect formula for an awesome fall read. The moment you read one of her books, you are definitely doing to reach for more.

The only reason I gave this book one star less than The Unseen is that The Misbegotten was a bit slow to my taste. The real action began towards the last third of the novel. If it was tenser through the entire book, it could be perfect.

Rating: 4/5

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