I wasn't sure about trying this book as it's not the usual thing I read, but I would thoroughly recommend it. The plot holds weaves the themes together tightly, the main characters are well drawn and sympathetic, and it's generally "a good read". The well researched background details (backed up by an interesting note by the author at the end of the book) was the strength that set this book apart for me though. The writer really managed to create a flavour of the time, skilfully mixing fiction with fact. It made me want to read more about the period. It also made me want to read more of her books, which I will be doing!