1984 by Geo-ok ok...
Well, I haven't done an update from the challenge in a really long time, so I figured, no time like the present. Only when I sat down to type this out, I found myself stumped. A lot of the books I really love and appreciate are already well rated books. This then caused a momentary existential crisis. Do I know who I am? Do I think for myself? Or is everything I consider good and beautiful just laid out for me by "the man."
I've recovered from my slump when I realized exactly what I would do. I can't pinpoint an exact book, but there is an author who I feel is grossly underrated. Her name is Anne Bronte. Now, I know you know there is a third Bronte sister, but have you ever read anything by her? That's right, you haven't. Because for some reason (despite the fact that she's far superior to her sisters...and I am someone who loves the Brontes more than Austin, and I dearly love Austin) Anne Bronte's works have gone fairly unnoticed compared to her sisters' books.
My personal pet theory is that her books are a lot more solid and grounded than her sister's books. Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are both almost magical and sweeping romances that are admittedly a little thrilling, particularly to the female soul. Not to mention their dark horse heroes who fascinate and repel us at the same time. Not so Anne's hero. He's a dreadful person and serves as a warning to young women not to fall for such rogues!...Ok, I should really stop talking like this.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is her most notable work. So, assuming you actually knew her name, this is probably the one you would have heard of first (and the reason I refer to her hero in the singular). If you look it up you'll find critics decrying it as anti-alcohol propaganda and others praising it as a feminist landmark in the literary world. I tend to think reducing it to either of those, is not to do justice to Anne Bronte, but perhaps it's just time I read it again. Someone should appreciate it for what it is. A work of art and a great story.