Alice I Have Been, by Melanie Benjamin.
When I learned that a new historical novel had been published about the girl who was the inspiration for the Alice in Wonderland stories, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy, and sooner rather than later, and this book did not disappoint. I was drawn in instantly from the first page by the charming voice of the main protagonist, at first a relatively young child, then a young woman, and then finally an old woman, and couldn't wait to turn the pages to see what was going to happen next. The characterization was excellent. I could see, hear, and get inside the head of virtually all of the characters, both major and minor. The detail was impeccable, allowing me to see, hear, and smell the Oxford surroundings that was the setting for this book. The pace was relaxed but not plodding, and definitely kept me turning page after page all the way to the end, and particularly in the second half of the book. Perhaps most telling of all, I was sad when I reached the last page, because I was not ready to leave the magical world that these characters lived in. There is not a detail of this book that I would change. I enthusiastically give this book a five out of five, meaning get your hands on a copy however you can, and highly, highly recommend it to all.