I read both books back to back which is why I use this edition eventhough mine is separate books. Social critique aside, both books are wonderful; no wonder since this is one of my favourite story time frame. I'd have given it more star, unfortunately Mitford stumbled on the endings. One of my pet peeve where the ending just dragged the book down. Such a shame, the beginning was wonderfully long though not boring, she prepared enough background for us to fall in love with this eccentric family, middle also fine, then comes the guillotined ending. i wonder if Nancy Mitford really couldn't foresee her heroines raising a child and growing old (cursory wiki browsing revealed that she really didn't have children and as the girls are in a way her personification i guess this is true). She let them get pregnant then bam bam, either the child died or the heroine died, it does annoy me a bit I supposed it's not just the ruthless treatment but also the pacing irritating me, what's the use of building this wonderful world if you're just going to crumble it with one good aimed kick. Twice I was just reading along happily when I suddenly realized that there's only one page left, wondering if my copy lost some pages and left open mouthed outside as she slam the door on my face.