This book follows three generations of the Trask and Hamilton families. Written as a direct allusion to the biblical story of Cain and Abel, it addresses the themes of sibling conflict and the struggle for parental affection.
This book doesn't have a straightforward conflict and solution; it includes a variety of real life familial and existential crises. For this reason, I found this novel to be realistic and poignant. The book is heavy with interesting description and complex character development.
This book is a must-read because of Steinbeck's unique writing style and emotional plot twists. It offers a wide variety of characters from the wise and fatherly Samuel Hamilton, to the sickly sadistic Catherine. Readers should note that it deals with some serious topics, but not to a ridiculous extent.
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