I highly recommend this book for all romance writers. Why? Because the life stories told in its pages are true romances - not in the HEA sense, but the "true love" sense. One in particular, that of Mary Moffatt Livingstone (wife of he of "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" fame), touched me deeply. To most people she was an ugly, fat, squat woman who dressed poorly and was awkward in society, but to her husband, she was the woman he loved deeply, who was his mainstay, whether they were together or apart while he was off on his travels. Her premature death devastated him, as much for the loss of her company and love as his guilt over the circumstances.
Ms. Forster wrote about the changing nature of the role of wife, from the mid-19th to late 20th centuries, considering what exactly makes a "good wife"by interweaving the tales of several women who, depending on one's definition of "good" were both good and bad wives. I'm 2/3 of the way through the book now and am enjoying it immensely- the writing flows naturally and the adventures I've read so far are awe-inspiring.
Have you found inspiration for your writing in unusual places?
Currently Reading: Good Wives: Mary, Fanny, Jennie & Me 1845-2001