It's worth having a look at Chiara's review of the excellent 'In this House of Brede'. I got this book for Christmas and finished it a couple of weeks ago. (It's the only book I've ever read that's made we want to become a Benedictine nun. ;) )
I should point out that it has recently been re-issued by the Loyola Classics stable of Catholic Fiction which is under the general editorship of none other than Amy Welborn.