I just recently finished reading "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe. This was my first time reading it- and I have to truthfully admit- watching the Siamese interpretation found in "The King and I" was the closest I'd ever been to reading it before! Sad, I know. I knew it was about slavery, but that's about it.
I was blown away. There are several gripping plots within the book, and not only is it a thorough illustration of slavery at the time (slave treatment, opinions/attitudes, etc.) but I was surprised to find that it is largely an inspiring and beautiful story of faith and hope in God. I highly recommend it. I'll be sharing quotes from it in the future, but here's one of my favorites:
"Ye said the Lord took sides against us, because he lets us be 'bused and knocked around; but ye see what come on his own Son,-- the blessed Lord of Glory,-- wan't he allays poor? and have we, any on us, yet come so low as he come? The Lord han't forgot us,-- I'm sartin' o' that ar'. If we suffer with him, we shall also reign, Scripture says; but if we deny Him, he also will deny us. Didn't they all suffer?-- the Lord and all his? It tells how they was stoned and sawn asunder, and wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, and was destitute, afflicted, tormented. Sufferin' an't no reason to make us think the Lord's turned agin us; but jest the contrary, if only we hold on to him, and doesn't give up to sin." - Uncle Tom