I am almost 50 years old and have not seen the movie before. I wanted to read the book first and I finally have. This book was wonderful. I don't think I could of appreciated it as much if I had read it as a much younger woman, so I am glad that for many reasons I didn't get the chance to read it until now. I understand why it is such a well known book. It is very well written, and the characters are full and alive. The story is meaningful and engaging. I laughed, bawled, grew frusterated and angry...I was very emotionally involved! The narrator was EXCELLENT.I highly recommend this book and although I know the book version is always much better then the film, I look forward to the movie as well. I will be reading this book again. Something I rarely do.