I had really high expectations for this book after seeing the HBO film. I love Maggie Smith and also fell in love with the main character, Emily Delahunty, who will forever be one of my favorite female literary characters. But the book was really just a let down. While it was only 151 pages, it took me a week to finish. Each individual page requires your undivided attention and I found myself having to go back and re-read several things to make sure I was still on track. The book is more of a character study than a work of true fiction and at times I found the plot line to be completely dry. I kept trying to pictures scenes in the movie as I read, and while I was able to do it some of the time, with the way the book is written, that was often hard. I also found it harder to like the characters the way they were portayed in the book. I actually found Mrs. Delahunty to be rather annoying at times in the book and that almost changed my perception of her. But just knowing that she was a romance novelist with a dark and sultry past, I couldn’t completely give up on her. This was simply one of the rare occurrances in which the movie is much better than the book, which to me is always a little disappointing.