Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
Agnes Grey was first published in 1847. In what appears to be an autobiographical rendering, Anne Bronte, the sister of Charlotte and Emily, seems to draw heavily from her own life in this Victorian classic.
The story begins as Agnes Grey's family fall on hard times. Although young, with very little world experience, she is determined to help her family, financially, by hiring herself out as a governess.
Agnes manages to find a job as governess and companion to the children of some wealthy people, but finds the working conditions intolerable and leaves. She eventually is hired by the Murray family and stays with them even though her life is still miserable.
After meeting Mr. Weston, a local curate, Agnes becomes more positive and dreams of a life with him.
Although, I feel the story lacks depth, it does carry strong messages on morality and self-respect, and gives the reader a realistic glimpse into the life Anne Bronte probably experienced.