Fans of The Rector's Wife may find this book's characters more one-dimensional. The good people are next to perfect; the bad, dull or selfish ones are very bad/dull/selfish and never change. The story, though, is quite interesting, as are the insights of a journalist who "covers" the war for his London paper. The book takes us to the Crimean War and shows the British army at its best and worst. The Ride of the Light Brigade is mercifully brief. Does point out the failings of the army to equip and feed its men adequately, or to care for them when they need medical attention. Major problem: an impossible-to-believe switch of affections on the part of one of the characters - so impossible that I found myself rooting for the other person who cared for the spurned individual. It's certainly more good than bad; some very good writing. You do get caught up with it.