While I'm avoiding 'Bleak House' I just finished 'Among Others' by Jo Walton. Loved, loved, loved it. Which is odd, because it's really slow and not a lot happens overall; and normally I hate that. In case neither of you has heard of it, 'Among Others' takes place in 1979-1980 and is the story of Mori--yeah, I see what I did there--a fifteen-year-old Welsh girl who gets sent to an English boarding school after her twin sister is killed and she, herself, is crippled. All of which happened when they stopped their mother, an evil witch, from taking over the world.
Relax, you two, these aren't spoilers. All this happens between the prologue and the start of the book proper. The novel is a series of Mori's journal entries in which she describes her life at school, her father whom she just met and her attempts at fitting in.
I guess I enjoyed this book so much because Walton makes Mori so utterly charming and lovable. Walton makes Mori's voice that of a whip-smart, terribly lonely fifteen year old, but that's just the half of it. Mori is so phlegmatic about her situation that one moment you marvel at how strong she is and the next you wonder how much of it is a front. Read it for yourself, it's outstanding.
Source: My local library.