Welcome to the third checkpoint for the East of Eden read-along! With the end of the book rapidly approaching, I’m really curious to see how Steinbeck wraps everything up. I’m surprised at how much I’ve gotten into the story, and how eagerly I’m picking up the book each evening to find out what happens next. I’m going to be sad when this one is over.
Anyway, if you haven’t read the book just yet, beware of spoilers ahead!
1. What do you think of the twins since they’ve grown up quite a bit? They seem to take after both Adam and Charles. How do you explain that? My book club had fun with some theories recently.
I am really enjoying watching the twins grow up. Now that Adam is paying a bit more attention to them, becoming a bit more like a father, I feel better about them than I did before. Before I was just really sad that they were fatherless (except for Lee) for the first decade of their lives. Now I’m hoping to see some bonding, and I’m expecting them to grow into strong and competent men. As far as taking after Adam and Charles – well, Cathy/Kate did insinuate that they might belong to Charles instead of Adam. So this could possibly be a nature vs. nurture thing? Like Aron is learning goodness from Adam while Cal is struggling with the darkness he inherited from Charles? I don’t know.
2. Any surprises in this section? Lee, Dessie and Tom, Adam’s business dealings? Just some ideas.
I was surprised that Adam’s idea of shipping vegetables in ice to the East failed. Maybe that’s because it’s something we take for granted now, that we can have fresh fruit and veggies regardless of the season. I was so hoping that Adam would be successful and start an industry and leave a legacy that he could pass down to Cal and Aron. And I was really sad that Lee discovered his dream of opening a bookstore wasn’t what he wanted after all. I mean, I’m glad he’s back, but isn’t he out of dreams now? As far as everyone else, I really don’t remember. Sorry.
3. Ugh, Kathy/Cate. Is there anything redeemable about this woman?
No. I hate her. At this point, I’m still waiting for her death. Now that Cal knows she’s alive, you would think she would try to change and get to know her sons. But she is still as evil and cold-hearted as ever, and I’m afraid for Adam, Cal, and Aron. Hopefully Aron doesn’t find out about her, but I’m sure that he will.
That’s it for this week! Hopefully the rest of the book will be just as good. Check back next week for more discussion questions and a review! And if you haven’t read this one yet, consider it. Please?