I've just finished a series of Olivia Manning novels. She's best known for two trilogies: Balkan Trilogy and Levant Trilogy. The six novels are continuous and contain the same set of characters. They are based on Manning's experiences in Eastern Europe and Egypt during the Second World War. Each novel is a wonderful picture of the peculiar British expatriate culture and what was happening during the war. She's one of those brilliant women who write very well about domestic relationships. All the books are slim, and it's easy to gallop through them.