I haven’t been crafting this week. I partied with friends, had dinner with my mother, started writing a short story, and attempted to finish a novel I have been reading over the weekend. I am not sure what creative knick-knack I am going to make next, so let me share with you my opinions on this novel I am trying to finish.
Typically I read what I like to call “Fairy Books”. If the novel has an ogre, vampire, elf, or fairy in it, I know I am going to enjoy myself. But reading “Fairy Books” all the time does to your brain what eating chocolate all the time does to your belly, and since I am trying to tone up my body, I thought I ought to tone up the old noggin’, too. This happens occasionally throughout the year but usually ends up with me buying another self-help novel (that gets put on the book shelf half-read and completely forgotten), or a Google trip to the “100 greatest novels of all time”. My Google trip led me to “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck.
I am only half-way through this book and although I am enjoying it, it is a slow read and I have very little patience. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this novel, it is a story about two brothers whose lives parallel those of Cain and Abel (you know, from that well known book called the Bible). There are a lot of beautifully described characters in this book that I hope are going to help me to understand why these boys end up like their biblical counterparts. I am slightly overwhelmed by the sheer number of characters in this novel. It’s almost an exploration of the genealogy of the family and neighbors of these brothers and how all of these characters influenced their future.
My favorite character in this novel is the mother of the two Brothers, Cathy. She weaves a web of sweet, complex lies and manages to get herself into far more trouble than any normal person would ever let themselves get in while managing to break strong men down into pathetic piles of weakness. Women make the best villains in my opinion, and this Cathy is an excellent example. She is tricky, good with a gun, and not afraid to get her hands dirty. Unfortunately she isn’t playing as big a role in this novel (so far) as I would like. It’s mostly a bunch of pathetic men who have allowed some aspect of their past to destroy their greatness. I hope I can manage to get through this book and find out what old John has in store for all these characters and subplots. I am going to have to follow this one up with a really terrible fantasy novel. I couldn’t imagine having to read this in High School! Yikes!
Have a great week friends and if you have read this novel before, leave me a note!