This is the 3rd Gaskell book I've read and I enjoyed as much as the others. However, when I started it, I had no idea that it was her final book and she died before she finished it. The version I listened to had a final summary from her notes of what was intended, but it was sad to not hear it in her own words. One thing I enjoy about her books is that her characters are so believably real. They don't fall completely into the hero or the villain category. Even the mean stepmother of this story is not really 'evil'. She is self-absorbed and thinks way too highly of herself, but somehow, Gaskell still gives her enough redeeming characteristics that it is hard to completely dislike her. A fun and gentle book that shows the good in human nature.