Friday, May 4, 2012

Review: Precious Bane

Title Precious Bane
By Mary Webb
Genre Adult classic/historical fiction
Pages 320
Recommended by Kim and Melissa 

First sentence It was at a love-spinning that I saw Kester first.

Synopsis
Prue lives with her brother and mother on a farm in England in the 1820s. Cursed with a cleft lip, Prue has little hope for romance but when Kester enters her life, she dares hope.

What it has going for it
Wow, where do I begin? I struggled through the first 120 pages of this one. The writing style and character slang was hard to get the hang of, and it said it was a romance and after 120 pages I was like, "hello, where's the romance?" ;) The funny thing is, that by the end of the book I was much more touched by the symbolism (yes, that's right, you heard me, the symbolism was done right! Not too subtle, not too blunt, just right.) than the romance. I did love the romance, though. I kept thinking it was completely unrealistic but still so sweet until I started to see the symbolism in it and realize why it seemed "unrealistic". What I loved the best, though, was Prue. Here you have a character who's looked at like she's a freak and who is even thought of as a witch by some people, that rises above all that because of how good she is. She loved everyone and was so good and kind, trying to do what's best in every situation and it completely conquers the fact that she has a cleft lip. Oh, I just can't say enough kind things about this book! You must read it!

What's lacking
Those first pages were hard to get into but they were, actually, setting up the plot, I was just being impatient for the romance.

Favorite moment
When Prue realized Kester knows it was her playing the part of Venus. I was humiliated and thrilled right along with her!

Yea or Nay?
Yes, just yes!

20 comments:

  1. Oh, wow. This sounds like a good story! I'm a bit skittish about how it starts if it's a slow starter-book, but it seems you really liked it a lot, after all. Stories like these are pretty exciting when someone can't even hope for love because of a physical deformity, but still finds it, anyway. Really inspiring and cool!

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    1. It was a little hard to get into but it's so worth it.

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  2. I want to read it. Now to find it and time.

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  3. There are so many great aspects of this book that make me want to read it. I love that Prue isn't a super beautiful heroine. Am getting a bit sick of reading about those kinda girls. Slow starts often put me off but I'll try to keep going for the great ending. I'm too dense to get any symbolism (or try and write it into my own stories) so I'll just go into this one hoping for a good read.

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    1. The symbolism in this one is super easy to get but it's also just a good story.

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  4. I've never heard of this classic before! I'm definitely going to have to check it out! It sounds interesting that's for sure! And I was a little in shock when you said you loved the symbolism!! That's not like you lol! Glad to hear that you enjoyed the book by the end, even if it was a little slow to start!

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    1. I know, I was shocked too. ;) This one is known for not being known. Pretty sad.

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  5. That Venus thing was pretty weird! :) I decided in the end the story was more about Gideon's downfall than about Pru's love story. What do you think?

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    1. We'll save the real discussion for book club but I think that Prue and Gideon's story are both important and one wouldn't have made sense without the other.

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  6. +JMJ+

    A romantic heroine with a cleft lip? You don't see authors take on that challenge every day. And believe me, I would notice if they did! (Operation Smile has been one of my favourite charities ever since the doctor who did my own reconstructive surgery told me he does pro bono work for them.)

    Precious Bane does sound very touching. I can see how the dialect would have made it less accessible and contributed to its obscurity, though.

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    1. It was so beautiful. I hope people don't let the language get in the way like I almost did.

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    1. I'm so interested to see what you think.

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  8. Yes, YES!!! I'm so glad the book group decided to read this one. I've been pushing this book on people (lightly) since I first read it about 10 years ago. A book that really had a huge impact on me, then and now. SO glad you made it through the hard language to the beautiful story.

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    1. Well, thanks for "pushing" it on me. I loved it!

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  9. Sounds like a very interesting read. I've never heard of this one. Love historical fiction but it can take a while to become accustomed to dialect.

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    1. I really think you'd like this one. You should give it a try.

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  10. Yeeeaaa!! I am so glad you liked it. I've been a bit worried about everyone's reactions to this one so I'm so happy. I need to reread it before book club and your great review reminded me of the treat I have in store.

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    1. I think if people stick to it they'll love it! How can they not?!

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