“A classic novel from Steinbeck.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
I don’t even know where to start with this review except to say this book swallowed me whole. I made the mistake of reading it too quickly, in less than a week, and therefore I allowed it to consume every corner of my mind. I decided this morning I needed to finish the last one hundred pages in order to free myself, since I’d been dreaming about the book, three nights in a row.
Steinbeck stated about East of Eden: “It has everything in it I have been able to learn about my craft or profession in all these years.” He further claimed: “I think everything else I have written has been, in a sense, practice for this.”
I won’t give a summary. I don’t even know if you can adequately summarize an epic book like Eden which spans three generations of two different families. The plot of the novel isn’t even as mind blowing as the thematic elements (though the plot is well thought out, intricate, and concise). The perpetual contrast of good and evil, the idea of the natural man v his own agency, the inherent want of love and subsequent rejection, and of course, the story of Cain and Abel represented mainly in the Aron/Cal relationship but reflected also in the Adam/Charles relationship to a certain extent (paternal rejection).