I had relatively low expectations for this book, as I'd attempted to watch the BBC special before and found it pretty dull. But the the book itself (actually the audiobook) was a very different experience. While I found myself feeling a bit impatient with the heroine and perhaps sympathising a bit more with Mrs. Thornton than the author probably intended, the characters and their stories were so finely drawn that I fell right into this book. I was continuously impatient to know what would happen next, even though the outcome of the story (typical romance in its plot) was a given. Juliet Stevenson gives an excellent performance in reading the story. Highly recommend.