East of Eden is a work of the heart and the soul. Reading this novel will insist upon you tackling your inner self, and confronting all of the worlds problems you chose to set aside. It is beautifully written and very confrontational at times. One of the things I enjoyed most is Steinbeck's use of character development; the novel follows two intertwining families whose lives progress and falter right before our eyes. His use of religious satire is brilliant, and often the key to getting larger points across that are normally difficult to conceive. Overall, East of Eden is a stunning masterpiece of love, hate, and a will that cannot be broken. This novel will change your perception of family and morality as we know it, and I cannot recommend this book enough to any serious thinker.
The biblical account of Cain and Abel is echoed in the history of two generations of the Trask family in California