I really wanted to make sure I finished this story before I went on holiday as for some reason I hate taking half finished books away with me. I like to have a fresh new story to keep me entertained on holiday, so I read through to finish this one as quickly as I could but without losing the story itself – if you know what I mean.
By the way, I was planning to do this review as a video but, at the time of writing this, I’m not very well and no one wants to see or hear that so the video plan has gone out the window.
Now, I know what you’re thinking…’Where’s the review for Past Imperfect by Julian Fellows that I said I was going to read in my last review?’, see told you I knew..! Well, I’m sorry to say that that turned out to be another one which I started and just couldn’t get in to, so I put it back on the shelf for another day when I might appreciate it. That day is not now.
I Instead picked up The Misbegotten by Katherine Webb to give it a whirl. It was quite a slow burner but there was something about it that compelled me to carry on – I honestly can’t tell you what that was.
The story jumps around and between the early 1800s and the 1820s which, at first, I found utterly confusing, but once I got to know the characters better and understood more of what was going on at these different times in their lives – the jumping between the years became quite normal.
The story is pinpointed within a short five month period of Rachel Weekes’ life when she moves to the city of Bath after marrying Richard Weekes. Her life changes entirely from this act of ‘love’ and soon lives to regret it when her own face (seemingly shared by a previously ill-fated girl, Alice Beckwith) brings much torment to the people around her. We are transported back to the last few years and significant episodes in Alice’s life throughout the story, in which a few constant characters appear in the ‘present’ day 1820s and earlier years – urging you on to find out how their situation changed so dramatically. Oh, there we go, perhaps that answers my own earlier conundrum.
I do feel with this story that the conclusion to the burning question throughout was built up so much that when it did come, it was kind of out of nowhere, felt a bit like a deflation and it wasn’t near enough to the end of the story to make me want to still carry on reading.
I don’t think I ever made that connection with the main character that you need to really care about them and want to see what happens to them – Rachel’s character never really left the page for me. Starling No-Name, on the other hand, with her fiery and wild yet insecure nature, was a far more interesting character and one that I did care about to see what happened, she should have been the main focus…in my opinion.
Would I recommend The Misbegotten by Katherine Webb? Well, for me it was a nice change to read something set in the past in a time that doesn’t quite make sense to me in the way women are treated and how they put up with it (I’m slowly beginning to realise I’m quite the feminist and am all for true equality!) and how our times have changed and what similarities. I can tell there is a big Jane Austen influence in the book but for me there is something slightly lacking, so I although I wouldn’t outright say ‘YES! Go and get this book!’ I also wouldn’t say ‘Don’t bother with it.’
If you like period dramas then this one might be for you, if you don’t then there’s really no point you even picking it up.
So, does anyone have anything different to say about this book? Have you read it? Loved it, hated it? I would love to hear what you have to say.
I have my next couple of books lined up to take away with me on my jollies, not sure whether I’ll get through a couple but I’d rather have too many than not enough with me. And they are, Double Indemnity by James M. Cain and How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. No spoilers but, read either of those?
Until next time.