One cannot read “East of Eden” without thinking about the Bible story of Cain and Abel. John Steinbeck’s characters Caleb and Aaron partake in a sibling rivalry and their interface captivates a wide audience. The story line clearly takes the reader on a tour of the soul. Any mind scanning this thick novel will experience the heart within the beauty of Northern California and the lush green canvas of Connecticut. Steinbeck paints his East and his West, and his audience benefits deeply as we taste the world he creates. It is an epic masterpiece about family and humanity. It is about choices, endurance, impact and forgiveness. From beginning to end, he shows us all the light and darkness that life offers. It engages the reader into each character as we become voyeurs of their best and worst choices. We watch them evolve and bloom and outrun the forces haunting them. Six hundred pages keeps the recipient satisfied by Steinbeck’s indulgence of our appetite for the truth to come out. Languishing in the fabulous landscape Steinbeck paints, the story connected me to hope itself in mankind. The “Old Testament,” tale of two brothers gets a very real time perspective into the ongoing battle of good and evil. His retelling is like salve on a wound, the cure for all the ails society. It is a sweeping tale that casts a spell on the on looking soul. Feel every ounce of magic in the beauty of the narrators dangerous flirtations, her chameleon ways, her enduring spirit and perpetual force. “I remember my childhood names for the grasses and secret flowers. I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer—and what trees and seasons smelled like—how people looked and walked and smelled even. The memory of odors is very rich.” Effortlessly, Steinbeck entices with his luscious prose. “Thou mayest,” the two words from “Genesis” that seem to speak most profoundly, for they admit to free will, and your ability to choose to rule over sin. Steinbeck examines this idea throughout the narrative, and demonstrates the profound consequence of choice. “But ‘Thou mayest’! Why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win.” You will come to appreciate that the female lead character isn’t “flawed” simply because she’s a woman—no, not at all, this Steinbeck character is developed as a bad seed. It is a classic that will thrive and remain alive because of it’s indelible impact on those who read to understand the nuances of the human spirit. John Steinbeck was born in 1902 in Salinas, California. He attended Stanford University before working at a series of mostly blue-collar jobs and embarking on his literary career. John Steinbeck (1902-1968), won the Nobel Prize in Literature ‘for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humor and keen social perception.” Steinbeck’s fame as a notable writer sky rocketed in 1935 when he published Tortilla Flat. He went on to write more than twenty-five novels, including The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men. He also collected prestigious awards as the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Over forty years after his death, John Steinbeck remains one of the most highly influential authors in American history. John Steinbeck was profoundly committed to social progress. His writing stirred hearts to rethink labor exploitation and the plight of the common man.