Having read North and South and Mary Barton, I kind of expected the book to be in some sort of similar lines though less in volume & depth. Totally the wrong impression.Cranford is a little English town where majority of residents are women. We, as the readers, are given a peek into Cranford from the point of view of Mary Smith, the narrator, who was once a resident of Cranford but no longer. Removed from the Cranford society, she is still a regular visitor of the town, being a good friend of many in town but in particular, the Jenkyns sisters. It is from Mary, we hear all about life in Cranford. Of new residents, deaths and marriages; of the dynamics in the society of the Cranford women, the cliques, and kindness & generosity of these women.In a way, nothing much happened. It's all just normal life and yet, it was cleverly written & quite witty. I may have thought it to be a crack-up, if I was a contemporary of Gaskell but unfortunately, it's not a crack-up but I can still appreciate the wittiness.