I already wrote about the first two books in Elizabeth Jane Howard's Cazalet Chronicles. Last week, I finished the third book, Confusion, and I just started the last one, Casting Off. I'm in mourning because I have no more Cazalet books to look forward to.
To refresh your memories, this is a family saga set in the 1940s in Great Britain. In Confusion, the focus is mostly on the teenage girls in the family, but everybody gets bits of the spotlight including the servants, the demented old great-aunt, the noble, pathetic governess, and other outsiders. The reader becomes absorbed in their stories, partly because all the little plots are interesting and partly because you are so interested in the characters. Right now I'm into Rachel, the youngest sister in the family. She's generally "nice" and well-liked, but I realized that her habit of constantly putting others' needs ahead of her own has made her into a bit of a monster. Interesting how that can happen.
If you love to escape into books, but are irritated by poorly-written best sellers, The Cazalet Chronicles are the perfect choice.