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Reader Reviewed
The Misbegotten by Katherine Webb

The Misbegotten

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Unusual for Katherine Webb, this new novel of hers is placed in one time only, the early 1800s. It starts slowly but soon you fall for her characters and their predicaments and by the end of the novel you are racing through the pages as if a monster were after you. It is the story of a love that is lost, of secrets and lies with the description of the war in Spain particularly vivid and painful. We follow Jonathan through this dreadful period which really stands out in this long book. It is the disappearance of his love that is the mystery of this tale, one full of skeletons, suffering and twisting clues dropped casually into a mystery. You must keep your wits about you to follow. It is very good...

If you like Katherine Webb you might also like to read books by Rachel Hore, Santa Montefiore and Kate Mosse.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Reader Reviews

We have asked a select number of members and browsers to review The Misbegotten. You can read their reviews below.


Gill Wilmott - 'This story is woven in such a way that not only do you want to know the conclusion, but you really care about the characters and what becomes of them.'  Click here to read the full review.
Nailah Afghan
- 'this is an enthralling tale of two very different women caught in a world of dark secrets, trying to make sense of their past and present.'  Click here to read the full review.

Edel Waugh ( - 'The first thing you should know about this book is that it does not give up its secrets easily. The second thing you should know about it is that those secrets are well worth the wait.' Click here to read the full review.


Vanessa Wild - 'A compelling, absorbing and intriguing story about how secrets can come back to haunt us...I thought this was a fabulous read.' Click here to read the full review.


Linda Hill - 'Webb drops clues into the lies and truths so skillfully that each twist of narrative makes the book impossible to put down.The Misbegotten is a wonderful read and I can't recommend it highly enough.' Click here to read the full review.


Lisa Redmond - 'This is engrossing storytelling reminiscent of Kate Morton or Daphne du Maurier...a fantastic gothic thriller. I highly recommend it.' Click here to read the full review.


Susan Walsh - 'Period drama at its best...each tantalizing chapter will have you enthralled as you piece together what happens next.  A must read for those who enjoy historical fiction.' Click here to read the full review.


Ruth Paterson - 'I demolished this novel from start to finish in two sittings...It is not a straight forward storyline and dark twists arise...I thoroughly recommend this novel; escapism at its best.' Click here to read the full review.


Lynn Curtis - 'I found the book didn’t quite live up to its initially intriguing set-up.  I enjoyed the setting and the period details, but felt that the suspense element didn’t quite hit the mark.' Click here to read the full review.


Suzanne Marsh ( - 'Such a joy to read!' Click here to read the full review.


The Misbegotten by Katherine Webb

Bath, 1821. Rachel Crofton escapes her unhappy employment as a governess by marrying a self-made businessman. But her new life soon takes an unexpected turn. Reclusive Jonathan Alleyn is a man tormented by the disappearance of his childhood sweetheart, Alice. Starling, foundling child and now servant, is convinced that Alice, the woman she loved as a sister, was stolen from her. Did Alice run away? Or did something altogether more sinister occur? As Starling tries to expose the lies behind Bath's immaculate facades, others want only to forget, and will go to extreme lengths to do so. And the courage both Rachel and Starling need to bring these truths to light will come at a very high price...


'The mystery of a woman's disappearance powers this gripping story of two young women who unravel past misdeeds to discover the truth. An engrossing tale of deceit, passion and courage.'

-WOMAN & HOME on The Misbegotten

'This is an engrossing and totally convincing piece of storytelling, a perfect curl-up-by-the-fire read.'

-YOU Magazine on The Unseen

'In a series of flashbacks, Katherine Webb's enticing Gothic tale weaves between the 'present
Bath of 1821 and the events of 16 years earlier, with some stark depictions of the horrors of war. A compelling and convincing novel .'

-DAILY MAIL on The Misbegotten

'An atmospheric page-turner.'

-WOMAN & HOME on The Unseen

'Brilliant and absorbing drama .'


'A dreamy summer epic.'

- ESSENTIALS on A Half Forgotton Song

'Another intricately constructed, beautifully written historical masterpiece.'

- Lisa Ballantyne

'A wonderful book! The atmosphere and detail is really quite incredible...a truly gifted writer of historical fiction.'

- Lucinda Riley, author of Hothouse Flower and The Girl on the Cliff

'A wonderful book, gripping plot, unforgettable characters...Webb has a true gift for uncovering the mysteries of the human heart and exploring the truth of love. A detective story you can't put down, heart-stopping suspense and a heroine who will stay with you long after you close the book - what more could you want?'

- Kate Williams

'Katherine Webb's writing is beautiful and THE MISBEGOTTEN reads like a journey through the dark hidden world beneath a Jane Austen novel .'

- Elizabeth Fremantle

'Intricately plotted and chillingly imaginative, this is a dramatic and evocative period mystery, a compelling exploration of obsession, deceit and steadfast affection.'

-GOOD BOOK GUIDE one The Misbegotten

About the Author

Katherine Webb

Katherine Webb was born in 1977 and grew up in Hampshire before reading History at Durham University. She has since spent time living in London and Venice, and now lives near Bath, UK. Having worked as a waitress, au pair, personal assistant, bookbinder, housemaid, library assistant and seller of fairy costumes, she is now a full-time writer. Her debut novel, The Legacy, won the popular vote for the TV Book Club Summer Read 2010 and was shortlisted for Best New Writer at the 2010 Galaxy National Book Awards. Her subsequent novels The Unseen, A Half Forgotten Song and The Misbegotten were all Sunday Times Top Ten Bestsellers, and her books have been translated into 26 languages around the world.

CLICK HERE to read our 'Ask the Author' feature on Katherine Webb.

Author photo © Andrew Morris

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Book Info

Publication date

26th March 2015


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Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co




Historical Fiction
Reading Groups
Relationship Stories
Sagas and Romance
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