Born at the time of Waterloo in the wild country of Shropshire, Prudence Sarn is a wild, passionate girl, cursed with a hare lip--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 birth and, hopelessly, Kester Woodseaves, the weaver. The tale of how Woodseaves gradually discerns Prue's true beauty is set against the tragic drama of Prue's brother, Gideon, a driven man who is out of harmony with the natural world.
'Mary Webb need fear no comparison with any writer who has attempted to capture the soul of nature in words' JOHN BUCHAN
'[Webb] was a great mystic and a master of both "inscape" and landscape. Any dull afternoon in London is lifted by being transported to the Mary Webb country of the Shropshire hills and the Welsh borderland.' MAIL ON SUNDAY