East of Eden

East of Eden

by John Steinbeck

Debbie Weiss (12/26/11): Many people told me that I should read this classic by John Steinbeck. I am certainly glad that I listened, as this was a wonderfully fulfilling read. As Kim indicated in her review, the story follows three generations of families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons. Most action takes place in the Salinas Valley of California. It seemed to me that the major theme of the book was the good vs. evil that exists in all people.

Cathy Ames is the individual who is 100% evil. She marries Adam Trask, becomes pregnant, gives birth to twins Aaron and Caleb, then shoots Adam and deserts the family. Her effect on the lives of Adam, Aaron and Caleb really permeates the entire novel, even though the boys are not aware that she is still alive. We know that every individual is composed of some good qualities and some not so good qualities, but we have a choice as to whether we want to do good and make a positive impact on the world or to inflict evil and leave a negative impact on the world. Our choices always have implications on the lives of others.
Rating: *****

Kim Sisto Robinsom: There is a reason only select books are meant to be called classics, and after reading "East of Eden," I finally understand waht this means. Steinbeck is a master storyteller; his words and sentences are still absorbing inside my mind and body at this moment. His CLASSIC, "East of Eden" follows three generations of families and the choices they decide to make in their lives... how every decision made not only affects a particular individul, but an entire generation of individuals.... and thereafter.

I delight in Steinbeck's style, the way he inserts universal messages in his pages for his readers to ponder; his deep directives about religion, racism, sexism, and generational imperfection. "East of Eden" is PURE PERFECTION. It is a classic that will live forever. Five stars are not sufficient for this Masterpiece!
Rating: *****

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