East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Author John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California. In his book “East of Eden” he tells a story of two families living in the Salinas Valley between 1862 and 1918. At this time, large numbers of immigrants were arriving in America from Europe. Many of them were poor, and they were hoping for better opportunities in the new country. Among these immigrants were author’s grandparents, Samuel and Liza Hamilton.
The book is part fiction and part personal history as it tells the story of two neighbors, the Hamiltons and the Trasks. The Trasks are a wealthy family unlike the Hamiltons. But the richness doesn’t guarantee happiness as Adam Trasks finds out when his wife leaves him alone with two boys and starts to run a whore house. The main characters in the book are Adam Trask, his two boys Cal and Aron, their house maid Lee and the old and wise Samuel Hamilton. John Steinbeck raises a number of moral issues in his book and handles them trough the characters of the book. Hi likes to raise questions about human nature: Are some people born good and others born evil? He also regards the moral of war: Is it fair that some young men are sent away to fight, but others are excused?
I really enjoyed reading the book and I think that this is one basic book everyone should read.