by A.S. Byatt
It's beyond cliché to point out how limited the movie version of a book is, but aside from the cover picture on the paperback version of Byatt's incredibly intricate work, there is little connection between the Gwyneth Paltrow film and this completely engrossing, intellectually stimulating accomplishment. Byatt manages to tie together in a tight and convincing passion everything I remember about the follies and minute joys of academia, the delicacy and vigour of Victorian culture/literature/passion, and the shark-infested waters of modern romance. Not to mention the inclusion and illumination of Breton folk lore, middle French, and literary theory.
I truly believe I could read this book a dozen times and still learn something new in each reading. I can only imagine what it is to have either Byatt's mind or her talent. I can't begin to conceive what it would be like to have both.
This is definitely not a book for everyone. But I was lucky enough to feel through the whole reading that Byatt had written it just for me.