There was a time when I finally finished all of Jane Austen's books (twice) and I suddenly didn't know where to turn next. I loved reading about dances, and witty banter, and most importantly, Society with a capital S. After getting stuck in a long reading rut, I stumbled upon North and South, and despite the lack of dances, I found beautiful writing, memorable friendships, and a fair amount of tempestuous romance. This book is more political and industrial than my Austen-norm, but it was just the right book for my fix. I found myself sucked into the troubling world of cotton factories, and unjust class prejudices. Margaret Hale has now become one of my favorite heroines. She's pulled out of her comfortable country lifestyle and thrown into this busy working environment, and we are reminded that there are two sides to every story.— Leah
North and South is a novel that exposed Victorian inequalities. Margaret Hale a woman from the South of England moves to the industrialized North of England where she is shocked by the huge inequalities between the rich and the working class. This serves as a backdrop for a conflicted love story. Margaret finds herself falling in love with John Thornton, the owner of the local mill. But her concern for the Mill's striking workers complicates the relationship. A classic tale of class and love.