Under-Rated Books

Underrated Books

Today I am going to discuss those books that I have read and think are great yet I’ve rarely seen mentioned anywhere else!

The Painted Veil
by W. Somerset Maugham

I think this is an under-rated classic! You think Classic and your mind automatically jumps to Austen, Bronte Dickens, it kind of skips W. Somerset Maugham, perhaps because of the length of his name! But this book is brilliant and the film is pretty good too. Although there are differences.

When Kitty marries to get away from her family she marries a dull, scientist. They move to Shanghai where she pursues an adulterous relationship and he pursues medical research. In the middle, he discovers the relationship and he punishes her. It is misogynistic in places, but also feminist in others. It’s great writing as well!

The Midwich Cuckoos
by John Wyndham

This is a book that is famous but because of the movie and not because of the book. This was the book behind The Village of the Damned and it’s technically a sci-fi horror set in a pastoral English Village in the 1960s. It’s entirely unique and has the best opening chapter I’ve ever read! Yet I rarely see people have read this. In fact, when I attended an interview, having just read this book, the employer was surprised anyone of my generation was reading it! Yet I thought it was a good!

The Worlds’ Wife
by Carol Ann Duffy

Her best collection of poetry, I think. A lot of people skirt around modern poets these days, in favour of the Romantics and the World War One poets and I think that they’re great too! But I think people under-estimate modern poetry and Carol Ann Duffy is forever tainted as being a ‘school-poetry lesson’ rather than poetry for pleasure. I think she is underrated because of this!

Love Lessons
by Jacqueline Wilson

This is my favourite Jacqueline Wilson novel. I don’t understand why I’ve never seen anyone else talk about it. I read this as a 14-year-old and was fascinated and shocked that this ‘children’s novel’ existed! It’s all about a previously home-schooled girl spending money on lingerie and falling in love with her Arts-Teacher after moving to school when her abusive father has a stroke. It’s insane how many unsettling themes there are but so beautifully written that it was hard to put it down! I think it’s one of Wilson’s best works!

The Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Monk Kidd

This is one of my favourite novels, ever. And I re-read it this year and it reminded me how good and strong it is! A white girl in the 1960s leaves her abusive father with their recently beaten black maid to find people who knew her mother – who she accidentally shot and killed as a 4-year-old! Again, another heavy topic story with beautiful characters and stunning writing! It all about Civil Rights and judging people in the 1960s and it’s incredibly moving! I think it should be on the school syllabus in Britain, for anyone learning about Civil Rights and Humanity!

There are 5 underrated books. There are many more out there! But I’ve yet to stray off the ‘hyped-path’ of reading. I hope to branch out soon, particularly with regards to feminist literature!

I’ve realised lately, from reading Feminist Non-Fiction, that, my reading is very structured about Bestsellers and slightly less about good and modern writing! I want to change this!

If you have any recommendations for some under-rated books let me know! I would love to discover more!

Happy Reading!


  1. I read the Secret Life of Bees a few summers ago, and I absolutely loved it! I'll definitely check out the other books you recommended. :)

    1. I re-read it in the summer and I remembered how much I loved it! :) Enjoy!