This book written by John Steinbeck tells a story of several characters whose lives are entwined. Set in the late 1800's into the 1900's the story is written so that it is told from the perspective of different characters throughout and often has flashbacks to give the reader further understanding of the complicated social situations. Because the story encompasses more years than your average novel, it helps paint the picture of our developing nation. Each character is very in depth and through telling the story of their lives, Steinbeck raises questions about fate, love, and destiny. In the end, he answers the question with a simple word "Timshel" (thou mayest). Basically he believes we have the choice to be good or evil. God has given us the choice to do with our lives what we will, so we must not look back or feel like we can't escape the circumstances we were born into. I wouldn't recommend reading this book if under 15. While there are no obscene images or descriptions in the book one of the characters is a prostitute. Mostly though, I think you should be of at least 15 before reading this book because it requires a mature mind and often more than one reading to truly understand and appreciate this work of brilliance.
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