Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
This book is a snapshot of life at a specific time in a specific place. Set in a small country town in the first half of the nineteenth century, it follows the lives of a group of women who are getting by on very little while still trying to maintain the standards they believe are proper and from which they cannot imagine straying.
I love all these ladies trying so hard to maintain a level of propriety as their old way of life is slipping away from them. They are endearing, aggravating and wonderful, inspiring and a little bit sad. Their stories are quiet but they have heart, a lot of heart, and this is a book that leaves an impact. I thought it was lovely and I'd give it a 7.5 out of 10.