The Grapes Of Wrath – John Steinbeck

Grapes of WrathEmotionally gripping book, by my favorite author, about the displacement of farmers, and the destruction of their families during the Great Depression.  After serving time in prison, Tom Joad heads back to his family’s farm in Oklahoma.  It’s deserted; his family evicted.  He’s reunited with them at his uncle’s farm, but they are about to be evicted as well.  The extended family packs up and heads to California. Thus begins the great exodus of Okies migrating away from the Dust Bowl. The Joad family is beset by tragedy as they travel. Grandpa and Grandma die.  Money is tight.  They are warned there is little work in California.  The family moves among a series of work camps where they are taken advantage of by greedy men and witness atrocities.  Tom attempts to fight back, but is ultimately forced to flee. In the end, we don’t know if the family will be reunited, or manage to survive the tough times.  I love all Steinbeck’s novels, especially Cannery Row, but this one is undoubtedly his masterpiece.

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