I didn't expect to finish this for some reason and I didn't expect to like it.
I don't think I'd give it a full five, but I would't give it a mere four stars. I think I would rate this book four and three quarters.
It's a slow burner. For the first 150-200 pages it is not exactly boring, but it isn't riveting either. It was a bit dull. And then slowly and suddenly it picked up and I didn't even know it - I was hooked. It takes you along like a river into these people's lives.
Steinbeck is a revered author for a reason. I'd read Of Mice and Men back when I was about 15/16 and really would like to read it again now. I love the language and how he slowly envelopes you into this world of Salinas and the valley. The people seem real and almost as if they are my neighbours. He writes with a natural delicacy.
I loved the ending - though it was sad I feared that Cal would turn out to be bad.
Timshel is a very good word and I must remember it. I think East of Eden touches something very truthful about human nature - that we chose what we are and we make ourselves who we are. Thou mayest.
It's one of those books I shall remember very well. Not for taking me on a jaw cracking journey or sweeping me off my feet like some books. This is a book that slowly, without you knowing it, ingrains itself in you.