I've read a few good books lately...
The best was the brand-new addition to the Pink Carnation book series by Lauren Willig, which I adore.
They are set in late 1800s England as well as modern England (flashes
back & forth). Mystery, romance, period Britain during the era of
spies & war with France. Excellent writing, you won't be
disappointed. The newest installment is called The Mischief of the
Mistletoe. Check your library system or Amazon. This is my current
favorite book series. I put these books at the top of my Christmas list
because I know I will read and re-read them. If you want to read them, start with the first installment, "The Secret History of the Pink Carnation". No, it's not about flowers! The Pink Carnation was apparently a real-life spy for England during the war with France. The first book is a fictional take on who the spy might be - trust me, it's awesome and I am certainly not a spy novel fan or really a mystery fan either.
Sixteen Brides is the tale of a group of widows after the Civil War who are conned by a man promising them free homestead land in Nebraska. Instead, he intends to marry them off to lonely homesteaders who are paying for the privilege of meeting them. The woman get wind of it on the train ride out, half of them abandon him & claim their own homestead land together.
"Band of Angels". I just finished this one tonight, it's the reason I'm still awake. It was a disturbing book, in the way that most war books are. Reading a book that depicts the harsh realities of war always makes me very aware of how spoiled I am. Central heating is keeping me warm right now, I have warm or cold running water, a fridge & root cellar & pantry & 2 chest freezers full of food, my children are safely tucked into bed with full stomachs, I feel safe, on and on. This book follows a young woman on her quest to become a nurse in England. She joins the group of nurses led by Florence Nightingale to nurse the British soldiers fighting in the Crimean War (1850s). In Turkey & Russia, she is confronted by unspeakable horrors. There is a bit of romance as well, she ends up with her childhood sweetheart as they have followed each other around & wind up finding one another in a Russian hospital.