This is one of those books that was recommended, I checked it out, it sat in my pile, but I it was a big pile, and I ultimately returned it, probably two times... and didn't read it. I finally checked it out AND read it.
Have you been following these lawsuits by Marvin Gaye's family? Suing the same artist, now twice about copying his music? The artist has said many times when asked who influenced his music that Gaye was one of his favorites. And when it comes to music, I'm sure that any one could sit down and find two pieces of music with a similar stanza here or there, the same rhythm, etc. I can only imagine how hard it is to write a 100% original piece these days.
Well, watch out Margot Livesy... Charlotte Bronte's family may come after you...
This was a Jane Eyre like story. Girl has a hard life, orphaned, sent away to school, rises to the top, and then earns her way to a good life (falls in love with a rich man, finds a reason not to trust him so runs away, etc). It really does read just like Jane Eyre does - just a different time, a different location, different people.
But, if you like Jane Eyre (I like it), I think you'll like this too. Just don't sue the author for copying Bronte's story.