I just finished this book. Again, not something I picked, just something my mother gave to me one day at the pool after she finished with it. It's funny that I read this one right after Memoirs of a Geisha because this book had everything that I was trying to explain was missing in that one a few posts ago. The characters were so deeply grown (for lack of a better word) that by the end they felt like your own family & you were joyous/heartbroken/whatever right along with Alice. Such a great job of communicating both visual beauty and social story. I loved it, this one will haunt me for a while.