Sarah Payok's Reviews > To a God Unknown

To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck
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Feb 28, 09

Read in February, 2009

An early Steinbeck novel, To a God Unknown contains a lot of the themes that Steinbeck explores more in depth in later novels. Joseph Wayne moves to California to find his own land, and eventually his three brothers follow with their families. As they develop their large family farm, Joseph becomes increasingly connected to a tree on the farm. The powerful role that nature holds over every living thing becomes evident after the tree is killed and a series of calamitous events follow.

As a novel, I thought this was beautiful but definitely not in the league of East of Eden or The Grapes of Wrath. However, Steinbeck's mastery is at it's best in the characters of both Joseph and Thomas. I was enthralled by both of them and while the conclusion was satisfying, I was sad to see them go.
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