January Books 29) The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Brontë
This won my unread non-genre poll at the end of last year (on a tie-break with Hard Times). I do not find the Brontë sisters' works all that compelling in general - in particular, I can't work up much enthusiasm for Wuthering Heights - but I really liked The Tenant of Wildfell Hall; Helen is an early feminist heroine, rushing into what rapidly turns out to be an unsuitable marriage and then making the tough choices facing any woman attempting to navigate their own course in a small-minded, small-town society. It's interesting that New England is her preferred haven of liberty. I was captivated by it (even though the end is telegraphed from fairly early on) and felt it worked better for me than any of her sisters' novels.