An epic allegorical novel chronicling the fortunes of two families as they try to escape the sins of their forbears, the Penguin Modern Classics edition of John Steinbeck's East of Eden is introduced by David Wyatt.
'There is only one book to a man,' Steinbeck wrote of East of Eden, his most ambitious novel. Set in the rich farmland of the Salinas Valley, California, this powerful, often brutal novel, follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations hopelessly re-enact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Here Steinbeck created some of his most memorable characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity; the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love's absence.
If you enjoyed East of Eden, you might like Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, also available in Penguin Classics.