Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck. Come to think of it.anything by Steinbeck. One can always learn more about writing by rereading Steinbeck. Even after teaching this one about 50 times, I still love it.
The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons. "It's the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna. Nineteen-year-old Elise Landau is forced to leave her glittering life of parties and champagne to become a parlor maid in England.