If you want a classic for your summer reading list, but aren’t in the mood for Grapes of Wrath, look no further than North and South by Victorian writer Elizabeth Gaskell. Gaskell explores the industrial revolution and how it affected individual lives. In North & South, Margaret Hale is forced by family circumstances to leave her idealic life in the country and move to the northern industrial town of Milton. Her sympathy for the town mill workers is challenged by her increasing insight into the sentiments of mill owner, John Thornton. Watching Margaret wake up to complexities of life while remaining a sympathetic and kind human being is challenging and delightful at the same time. We also have the BBC version of the film which lingered in my mind for days after.