Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell
Cranford is a very "gentle" story full of quiet humor. What else would you expect, with the focus on a circle of (mostly) aging spinsters living in a staid English village (in the mid-1800s)? It won't be everyone's cup of tea, and there's not much in the way of action or even plot, but the slow pace and mild comedy-- the unashamed delving into the minutiae of life-- is nice, it its way.
I listened to an audio book version of this short novel, and took a long time in doing so. When I was actually listening, it was interesting enough, but I didn't find it so compelling that I couldn't wait to hear more-- thus the extended time frame.
Still, a pleasant book. Ideal for listening to while doing something suitably calm and sedate-- like knitting the garter stitch section of Multnomah.
I did find some of it rather on the sad side-- Miss Matty and her memories of long-dead family members, her former beauty, the failure of her love story to end in marriage-- but there's nothing too dramatic here. In the end, it's a faithful representation of life as most of us know it. There is sadness and regret, but you tend not to dwell on it for too long-- and the business of living continually offers new interests (however small), if only we are open to them.