The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck
Pearl S. Buck became one of my favorite authors when I was a teenager because of her amazing ability to draw me into the narrative. Her characters are so alive and well-created that I genuinely care about what happens to them. This book reads like a page out of real life, with all the triumphs and tragedies that go along with trying to make one's way in the world. This isn't my favorite Buck novel, but it's an excellent read just the same.