Paton, Alan "Cry, The Beloved Country: A Story of Comfort in Desolation " - 1948
Alan Paton was a South African author and anti-apartheid activist. His novel tells a tale of people having to live in a society that reeks of injustice that would later lead to apartheid. You cannot help but feel sorry for all the characters in the story, no matter what they do, how much they try, they don't get any further.
A dramatic read, a fantastic read. History, yes, but if you look around, these kind of problems still exist everywhere.
From the back cover:
"Cry the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its contemporaneity, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man."