This is the third book by Elizabeth Gaskell that I've read. The first one I read was Wives and Daughters - loved it! The second, North and South - again loved it! Cranford, not so much. I know they just did a new BBC mini series of Cranford and I intend to watch it, but this story was difficult to get through. It seemed like Ms. Gaskell really didn't know where this story was going and who the main character should be. Mary Smith is the narrator and nothing of consequence happens to her. She lives her life through those of Cranford. There is a dull romance that never really amounts to anything and several deaths. I don't recommend this book. However, to be fair to Ms. Gaskell the afore mentioned books, Wives and Daughters and North and South are wonderful. If you haven't read Wives and Daughters be prepared that there is no ending to the story. The author died before she could finish it.
I'm still waiting for my other books to get here . . . soon I'll have to decide which one to start with.