A haunting tale of passion set in Shropshire in the 1800s
Born at the time of Waterloo in the wild countryside of Shropshire, England, Prudence Sarn is a passionate girl, cursed with a harelip—her “precious bane.” She is cursed for it, too, by the superstitious people amongst whom she lives. Prue loves two things: the remote countryside of her birthplace and, hopelessly, Kester Woodseaves, the weaver. The tale of how Kester gradually discerns Prue’s true beauty is set against the tragic drama of Prue’s brother, Gideon, a man who is out of harmony with the natural world and whose recklessness may ensnare them all in tragedy.
Winner of the 1926 Prix Femina Vie Heureuse Prize, which was similarly awarded to such books as Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India, and Stella Gibbons’s Cold Comfort Farm, Precious Bane is a novel that haunts us with its beauty and its timeless truths about our deepest hopes.
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“It is a genuine pleasure to listen to Justine Eyre narrate this treasure of an audiobook set in the English countryside of the early nineteenth century. There is a naturalness and fluidity to her performance that renders the formal language fresh for contemporary ears. Eyre’s characterizations are excellent as she shifts among the male and female personalities, giving each a beating heart and a textured vibrancy.”