[[ read online Reading ]] The Pastures of HeavenAuthor John Steinbeck – Schematicwiringdiagram.co

Each of these delightful interconnected tales is devoted to a family living in a fertile valley on the outskirts of Monterey, California, and the effects that one particular family has on them all Steinbeck tackles two important literary traditions here American naturalism, with its focus on the conflict between natural instincts and the demand to conform to society s norms, and the short story cycle Set in the heart of Steinbeck land , the lush Californian valleys


10 thoughts on “The Pastures of Heaven

  1. Dolors Dolors says:

    If there is something that will remain embedded in my mind about this collection of short stories is that there is no such thing as an earthly paradise but rather a barren land brought to life by the joys and miseries of its inhabitants In his second book, Steinbeck manages to demystify the natural resources of the physical place in favor of the characters that populate it with all their prejudices and superstitions, generosity and disinterested fellowship, idealized aspirations and humble drea If there is something that will remain embedded in my mind about this collection of short stories is that there is no such thing as an earthly paradise but rather a barren land brought to life by the joys and miseries of its inhabitants In his second book, Steinbeck manages to demystify the natural resources of the physical place in favor of the characters that populate it with all their prejudices and superstitions, generosity and disinterested fellowship, idealized aspirations and humble dreams Community can become a safe haven, but it can also be the origin of ruthless intolerance The consequences of unrequited love, the constant struggle between fate and chance that leaves track through generations, the shameful secrets people try to conceal with whitewashed camaraderie to convey an appearance of dignity or control these are the kind of issues that give and take from the characters in Steinbeck s portrait of rural life in California at the beginning of the twentieth century.Even though the stories stand on their own and can be tackled independently, they build on each other if read in succession The same protagonists keep reappearing shown through the eyes of secondary characters, whose perspectives blend harmonically with inner thoughts and concealed yearnings disclosed in later chapters, constructing three dimensional and psychologically rich character portrayals that transcend the formal boundaries of the narration.Steinbeck s descriptive prose is powerful without being overwritten, sober and efficient but with the required poetic brushstrokes that tint the stories with that evocative glimmer so typical of his style The overall tone is darker and less humorous than other of his works, maybe closer to the Southern Gothic tradition but with a not so gloomy stance on the vicissitudes and hypocrisies of life.At the end of the day, dreams tend to collapse under the heavy weight of reality, but what would be of us without them Steinbeck chooses a hotchpot of serendipity and optimism to keep the spark alive in spite of the overwhelming odds and the indignities of everyday life, something that will keep me returning to his books for years to come


  2. Cathrine ☯️ Cathrine ☯️ says:

    4 Steinbeck is the man Well, one of them anyway It is always a pleasure spending time with his prose and this was no exception Katherine was not pretty, but she had the firm freshness of a new weed, and the bridling vigor of a young mare Alice grew and becameandbeautiful Her skin was as lucent and rich as poppies her black hair had the soft crispness of fern stems, her eyes were misty skies of promise I read that the third Mrs Steinbeck typed his manuscripts and I can t help 4 Steinbeck is the man Well, one of them anyway It is always a pleasure spending time with his prose and this was no exception Katherine was not pretty, but she had the firm freshness of a new weed, and the bridling vigor of a young mare Alice grew and becameandbeautiful Her skin was as lucent and rich as poppies her black hair had the soft crispness of fern stems, her eyes were misty skies of promise I read that the third Mrs Steinbeck typed his manuscripts and I can t help but wonder if he talked about her like that Elaine s fingers roost on the keys like an ivory billed woodpecker extracting the letters that become the nectar for my sentencesI have a particular fondness for his verdant Salinas Valley settings and their interconnected short stories populated with oftentimes grotesque and abnormal characters who do things you don t expect Let not the pastoral title fool you Thinkalong the lines of the heavenly pastures of wrath and tribulation where ploughshares are beaten into swords.Dr Phillips conferring with the mother of a mentally disturbed girl You love the hair shirt, he growled Your pain is a pleasure You won t give up any little shred of tragedy He became furious I think I m a mild man, but right now I want to beat your face with my fists How s that for professional consultation He was right though, she should have put Hilda in an institution and joined her there In his introduction to this collection, James Nagal wrote that these were stories of broken dreams, disillusionment, and painful realizations that awaited people who moved into the valley Perhaps it is not too much to claim that the central components of the greatness of Steinbeck s work, his basic style and subject and fundamental themes, have their origin not in his most celebrated novels but in an often ignored collection of stories that appeared, unceremoniously in 1932 The Pastures of Heaven


  3. ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣ ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣ says:

    All sorts of mental sickness and disbalance and social maladaptation are represented here Even though it s a classic it s not my cup of tea Mothers killing their daughters, neurotics of all sexes, child problems, even a father hoarding his daughter s virginity, gosh This is not the sort of things one looks for in books Beautiful language, even though I didn t think highly of the subject in many cases.Q He had been pleased with the funeral c I wasn t pleased with this book Q Shark had ne All sorts of mental sickness and disbalance and social maladaptation are represented here Even though it s a classic it s not my cup of tea Mothers killing their daughters, neurotics of all sexes, child problems, even a father hoarding his daughter s virginity, gosh This is not the sort of things one looks for in books Beautiful language, even though I didn t think highly of the subject in many cases.Q He had been pleased with the funeral c I wasn t pleased with this book Q Shark had never known his Aunt Nellie very well, but he had thoroughly enjoyed her funeral c Q Before Alice had ever seen the boy, Shark forbade her to see him He spoke with such vehemence that a mild interest was aroused in the dull brain of the girl Don t you ever let me catch you talking to that Jimmie Munroe, he told her Who s Jimmie Munroe, Papa Never you mind who he is Just don t let me catch you talking to him You hear me Why I ll skin you alive if you even look at him And again You haven t been talking to that Jimmie Munroe, have you No, Papa Well just don t let me catch you at it After a number of repetitions of this order, a conviction crept into the thickened cells of Alice s brain that she would really like to see Jimmie Munroe c Q They thought I meant to kill him And now everybody knows I haven t any money c Q He is not crazy he is one of those whom God has not quite finished c Q All his life he had been an alien, a lonely outcast, and now he was going home As always, he heard the voices of the earth the far off clang of cow bells, the muttering of disturbed quail, the little whine of a coyote who would not sing this night, the nocturnes of a million insects But Tularecito was listening for another sound, the movement of two footed creatures, and the hushed voices of the hidden people c Q Seemingly she hungered for tragedy and life had lavishly heaped it upon her c Q What would you suggest she asked huskily A hospital for the insane, he said, and it delighted him that his reply was brutal c Q every man must some time or other want to beat a woman c Q Junius Maltby read books by the stream while his wife and children died But this was only partly true On the day of their seizure, he dangled his feet in the stream, because he didn t know they were ill, but thereafter he wandered vaguely from one to the other of the dying children, and talked nonsense to them He told the eldest boy how diamonds are made At the bedside of the other, he explained the beauty, the antiquity and the symbolism of the swastika One life went out while he read aloud the second chapter of Treasure Island, and he didn t even know it had happened until he finished the chapter and looked up During those days he was bewildered He brought out the only things he had and offered them, but they had no potency with death He knew in advance they wouldn t have, and that made it all theterrible to him.When the bodies were all gone, Junius went back to the stream and read a few pages of Travels with a Donkey He chuckled uncertainly over the obstinacy of Modestine Who but Stevenson could have named a donkey Modestine c Q I didn t know my wife nor the children very well, I guess Perhaps they were too near to me It s a strange thing, this knowing It is nothing but an awareness of details There are long visioned minds and short visioned I ve never been able to see things that are close to me For instance, I am muchaware of the Parthenon than of my own house over there Suddenly Junius face seemed to quiver with feeling, and his eyes brightened with enthusiasm Jakob, he said, have you ever seen a picture of the frieze of the Parthenon c Q Robbie s effect on the school was immediate The older boys let him entirely alone, but the younger ones imitated him in everything, even tearing holes in the knees of their overalls When they sat in the sun with their backs to the school wall, eating their lunches, Robbie told them about his father and about the syca tree They listened intently and wished their fathers were lazy and gentle, too c Q The teacher sighed with relief Then you do understand they weren t doing as well as usual I m glad you know that If I thought they were doing their best, I d close the school, he said c Q I think he was embarrassed, But why should he be We were nice to him I think, you see why, I don t think he ever knew he was poor until a moment ago c Q They were childlike and jovial and not very clean Sitting in the chairs they waited on fortune c


  4. Joe Valdez Joe Valdez says:

    While Cup of Gold was John Steinbeck s first novel, and he spent five years working on To A God Unknown before putting it aside, The Pastures of Heaven, published in 1932, was the world s introduction to Steinbeck, whose social insight and intellectual depth are woven into stories about the struggle for survival in and around Steinbeck s hometown of Salinas This novel consists of ten tales set in a thinly veiled version of Corral de Tierra, a valley in the hills twelve miles from Monterey, whic While Cup of Gold was John Steinbeck s first novel, and he spent five years working on To A God Unknown before putting it aside, The Pastures of Heaven, published in 1932, was the world s introduction to Steinbeck, whose social insight and intellectual depth are woven into stories about the struggle for survival in and around Steinbeck s hometown of Salinas This novel consists of ten tales set in a thinly veiled version of Corral de Tierra, a valley in the hills twelve miles from Monterey, which Steinbeck names Las Pasturas del Cielo It s a pencil sketchbook, a minor work from Steinbeck, which means it would rate it a masterpiece by most anyone else The Pastures of Heaven is a beguiling collection similar in structure to Tortilla Flat or Cannery Row If any character can claim to be the main one, it s Bert Munroe, a failed businessman who purchases the old Battle farm, a vacant property regarded as cursed by the people of the valley Two generations of Battles were beset with epilepsy, madness and bad luck, while the family that came in 1921 vanished one day without a trace While the Munroes find their success in the valley and are good neighbors, each character Bert Munroe associates with encounters some malady, directly or indirectly due to his presence.Edward Wicks maintains a peach orchard and vegetable garden Eking out a living, he derives pleasure in being considered a wealthy man, studying stocks and bonds and keeping a ledger in which he tracks his fantasy investments His neighbors come to respect Wicks as a shrewd businessman and dub him Shark When his homely wife Katherine bears a gorgeous daughter named Alice, Shark becomes obsessed with protecting her virtue All boys and men are suspected of having evil intents toward his girl, and when Shark returns from a funeral, the storekeeper T.B Allen reports on Alice s mingling at a town dance with Bert Munroe s son, a cad named Jimmie As Shark walked quickly along toward the Munroe place, his thoughts raced hopelessly He was sure of one thing, though, now that he had walked a little he didn t want to kill Jimmie Munroe He hadn t even been thinking about shooting him until the shopkeeper suggested the idea Then he had acted upon it without thinking What could he do now He tried to picture what he would do when he came to the Munroe house Perhaps he would have to shoot Jimmie Munroe Maybe things would fall out in a way that would force him to commit murder to maintain his dignity in the Pastures of Heaven.Franklin Gomez is a rancher whose hired hand stumbles home one morning with the story of a devilish child left in the brush next to the road The baby, abandoned due to its physical deformities, is raised by Gomez by the name Tularecito, Little Frog At the age of six, Tularecito can do the work of a grown man, and exhibits masterful artistic ability carving animals He nevertheless unnerves his neighbors At the age of eleven, Tularecito is enrolled in school, where his first teacher discovers what happens when anyone destroys Little Frog s art and quits in hysterics His second teacher, Miss Molly Morgan, breaks through to the boy by reading him faerie tales and Tularecito goes in search of his people, the gnome people, a quest which takes him to Bert Munroe s ranch.Munroe pays a visit to a new resident, Helen Van Deventer, who has moved to the valley with her emotionally disturbed teenage daughter Hilda, who informs her mother that she plans on running away with Munroe Junius Maltby is a clerk from San Francisco who moves to the valley for health and marries his widowed landlady An unapologetic bookworm who s allergic to work, their orchard and vegetable bottom falls into ruin, but Junius cannot be anyhappy as long as he has a book When his wife dies of black fever, he s left to raise their son Robbie grows up in squalor, dirt poor but happy, until Bert Munroe s wife ruins it all by donating some clothes to the boy.Rosa and Maria Lopez are left forty acres of rocky hillside by their father and go into business making tortillas The sisters begin providing special favors to male customers who purchase at least three items Nothing is made of their enterprise until Bert Munroe decides to play a joke on the wife of the ugliest man in town, who he catches accepting a ride to Salinas in Rosa s carriage Munroe is elected to the school board, where he meets their new schoolteacher, Miss Molly Morgan Molly has lost contact with her father, but maintains romantic illusions about the life he s living, fantasies that are shattered when Munroe regales the board with tales of his drunken ranch hand One time their father went away, and he never came back He had never sent any money, nor had he ever written to them, but this time he just disappeared, for good For two years they waited, and then their mother said he must be dead The children shuddered at the thought, but they refused to believe it, because no one so beautiful and fine as their father could be dead Some place in the world he was having adventures There was some good reason why he couldn t come back to them Some day when the reason was gone, he would come some morning he would be there with finer presents and better stories than ever before.The people of the Pastures of Heaven can t catch a break around Bert Munroe Raymond Banks owns the valley s most admired ranch, a clean poultry farm Beloved by the children, Banks is friends with the warden at San Quentin and maintains the somewhat unusual habit of serving as witness to hangings there Munroe becomes obsessed with this and against his better judgment, asks Banks if he can come along Pat Humbert inherits an old farmhouse with five rooms from his aging parents at the age of thirty and after they pass, refuses to spend any time in or on the house as he can This changes when he overhears Bert Munroe s daughter Mae discussing Vermont houses.The Whitesides are the first family of the Pastures of Heaven Their patriarch, Richard Whiteside, constructs a house so grand that it would pass from generation to generation and serve as the homestead for a dynasty Fate deals his wife Alicia the blow of being able to deliver only one child, which they name John He inherits his father s love of Greek history and philosophy and admires the house evenHis heir Bill gravitatestoward mechanics than literature or history, and the Whiteside dynasty is threatened when Bill becomes engaged to Bert Munroe s daughter Mae, who makes it known that she prefers to live in town.Time will tell whether The Pastures of Heaven features stories vivid enough for me to bring up in conversation the way I do with Tortilla Flat or Cannery Row, stories that spring to my mind as effortlessly as some generate fantasy football stats Unlike Steinbeck s later portmanteau books, this one lacks vagabond wit and biting political satire I love in his work This early Steinbeck is almost Gothic in its presentation of a cursed family, decent folk who nonetheless seem to be carrying some sort of evil with them, visiting misfortune upon their neighbors in strange ways With the insight that comes so effortlessly to Steinbeck, he indicates the people of the valley might have been asking for it It is a difficult thing and one requiring great tact quickly to become accepted in a rural community The people of the valley had watched the advent of the Munroe family with a little animosity The Battle farm was haunted They had always considered it so, even those who laughed at the idea Now a man came along and proved them wrong More than that, he changed the face of the countryside by removing the accursed farm and substituting a harmless and fertile farm The people were used to the Battle place as it was Secretly they resented the change.Thetime I have to think about The Pastures of Heaven, the richer it becomes To call it the worst John Steinbeck book I ve read so far is like calling Bridget Fonda the worst actor in her family tree or Ringo Starr the worst Beatle, meaning it should be considered blasphemy But as of today, due to popular demand, here s my list of John Steinbeck books ranked from favorite to least favorite 1 East of Eden 1952 2 The Grapes of Wrath 1939 3 Sweet Thursday 1954 4 Of Mice and Men 1937 5 The Wayward Bus 1947 6 Tortilla Flat 1935 7 The Winter of Our Discontent 1961 8 Cannery Row 1945 9 Travels with Charley In Search of America 1962 10 The Pastures of Heaven 1932


  5. Kim Kim says:

    Where John Steinbeck is concerned, I m an unapologetic fan Having only made his acquaintance relatively recently after a visit to Monterey prompted me to read Cannery Row, I ve fallen in love with his clean prose and striking use of imagery, his powerful evocation of place, his ability to turn ordinary people into memorable characters and the deep humanity which is at the heart of his writing This was the second of Steinbeck s works to be published It s a short story cycle in which each of th Where John Steinbeck is concerned, I m an unapologetic fan Having only made his acquaintance relatively recently after a visit to Monterey prompted me to read Cannery Row, I ve fallen in love with his clean prose and striking use of imagery, his powerful evocation of place, his ability to turn ordinary people into memorable characters and the deep humanity which is at the heart of his writing This was the second of Steinbeck s works to be published It s a short story cycle in which each of the stories is set in a valley named The Pastures of Heaven , which Steinbeck locates in the area between Salinas and Monterey While the stories are self contained, there are some overlapping characters, particularly the Munroe family The Munroes move from the city to the Pastures of Heaven when they purchase an abandoned farm the locals consider to be haunted Although they make a success of the farm and of their lives, their appearance in each of the stories heralds a change for the worse in the life of the central character of that story The Munroes act as agents of a malignant fate, as they unwittingly shatter the dreams, fantasies or illusions of their neighbours Unlike Cannery Row, with which this work shares some similarities in terms of its structure, this is one of Steinbeck s sad books It s not without humour, but it lacks the buoyant mood of the later work and the easy affection Steinbeck shows for its characters In these stories, the mood issombre, the trials of the characterspoignant, the ultimate fate of the characters less positive But, as in The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck s characters are survivors Their dreams may be shattered, but they live on, doing their best to cope Some of the stories are better than others, but all of them are infused with Steinbeck s deep understanding of the connection between human beings and that place in the landscape they call home Steinbeck was just thirty when this book was published How someone so young could be so wise about the human condition and write about it with such beauty takes my breath away I listened to the audiobook edition of this work Sean Runnette s narration was excellent


  6. Michelle Curie Michelle Curie says:

    Life is so unreal I think that we seriously doubt that we exist and go about trying to prove that we doJohn Steinbeck is one of my favorite writers and yet I occasionally struggle to put into words what it is that makes him so unique It might be his language, the lengthy and vivid descriptions of Californian landscapes or the characters, always hard working and good willed, yet often victims of destiny The Pastures of Heaven was only his second novel, and it already has all the featureLife is so unreal I think that we seriously doubt that we exist and go about trying to prove that we doJohn Steinbeck is one of my favorite writers and yet I occasionally struggle to put into words what it is that makes him so unique It might be his language, the lengthy and vivid descriptions of Californian landscapes or the characters, always hard working and good willed, yet often victims of destiny The Pastures of Heaven was only his second novel, and it already has all the features of his later works that would one day turn him into the most influential American novelists This book entails ten intertwined short stories, all set in a valley close to Monterey in the beginning of the 20th century, where families have to struggle for survival It serves as a beautiful reminder of how a place only comes to live through the people inhabiting it The stories can be seen as stand alone tales, but they simultaneously blend together beautifully, with protagonists from one making reappearances in others, creating a real sense of community within the valley called Las Pasturas del Cielo For none of Steinbeck s characters, life is particularly easy We meet possessive fathers, unlucky businessmen and strong willed women None of Steinbeck s characters are particularly lucky either and yet he manages to create a story arc that isn t depressing in nature, but a gentle and confident reminder that a community is defined by the people that it is made up of


  7. Jason Koivu Jason Koivu says:

    More stories of the people of the Salinas valley area in the early 1900s from the leading expert on the subject, John Steinbeck These tales of woe and triumph study the fictional lives of the criminally insane to the rich and locally famous The Pastures of Heaven presents character sketches in the vein of Sherwood Anderson and Gabriel Garc a M rquez, thoughsalaciously than Anderson and without so much art as M rquez The book is really a collection of very loosely entwined short stories More stories of the people of the Salinas valley area in the early 1900s from the leading expert on the subject, John Steinbeck These tales of woe and triumph study the fictional lives of the criminally insane to the rich and locally famous The Pastures of Heaven presents character sketches in the vein of Sherwood Anderson and Gabriel Garc a M rquez, thoughsalaciously than Anderson and without so much art as M rquez The book is really a collection of very loosely entwined short stories with no overarching plot Mostly it is the gorgeously described land of Steinbeck s central California world that brings the whole thing together


  8. Steve Steve says:

    I feel that Steinbeck s short stories are overlooked because they re simple without being simplistic and they plod along at a pace that can feel like watching crops grow The Pastures of Heaven was written before he became a star and you can trace the outlines of what was to come.The setting is a valley that a Spanish Corporal finds while chasing runaway Indian slaves He s so taken by what he sees that he christens the valley Las Pasturas del Cielo or The Pastures of Heaven From the limited I feel that Steinbeck s short stories are overlooked because they re simple without being simplistic and they plod along at a pace that can feel like watching crops grow The Pastures of Heaven was written before he became a star and you can trace the outlines of what was to come.The setting is a valley that a Spanish Corporal finds while chasing runaway Indian slaves He s so taken by what he sees that he christens the valley Las Pasturas del Cielo or The Pastures of Heaven From the limited geographic descriptions provided it appears that the valley is where Corral de Tierra is located in between Salinas and Monterey but shy of the Carmel Valley.The Pastures of Heaven are twelve short stories that share characters and settings The obvious connection is the valley they inhabit but the underlying theme is the pain that people bring upon each other when they try to please or help others whether they know what they are doing or not.In classic Steinbeck fashion you get the insecurities, aspirations, crushing realities, and misunderstandings that afflict those that reside in such a beautiful place told in touching, humanistic, and funny ways that bring you into the valley to share the experiences of the characters.The cool thing about Steinbeck is how he can capture the ordinary and shows how, to paraphrase the Beatles, had it been another day I might have looked the other way That is, how small and ordinary things have significant ramifications when the context allows them.Context matters because one thing Steinbeck doesn t do is judge his characters That s for you to figure out given the tableau he has set and that s what makes their disappointments sting.It is also what gives his humor its bite and observations their edge The characters stick with you and their situations grow meaningful I think it s because not only is the theme timeless but the characters are all too real.Unlike The Long Valley there aren t any real standouts but as a complete work The Pastures of Heaven can stand on its own and should be read in its entirety If there was to be a stand out, it should be story VI The beauty of innocence ensconced from the world is story we don t hear enough.He veers from the factual to the fantastic without skipping a beat and keeps you enthralled throughout All signs of a great writer and a great work.It closes on a bittersweet note but that doesn t mean it shouldn t be experienced


  9. Laurene Laurene says:

    I have always been a fan of John Steinbeck I have read, The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice And Men, and thought they were exceptional Pastures Of Heaven is about a small area known as Las Pasturas del Cielo located in central California and the families who reside there I experienced a roller coaster of emotions as I was thrown in these families lives The beginning the ending all the pages in between make the Pastures Of Heaven an exceptional novel After the bare requisites to living I have always been a fan of John Steinbeck I have read, The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice And Men, and thought they were exceptional Pastures Of Heaven is about a small area known as Las Pasturas del Cielo located in central California and the families who reside there I experienced a roller coaster of emotions as I was thrown in these families lives The beginning the ending all the pages in between make the Pastures Of Heaven an exceptional novel After the bare requisites to living and reproducing, man wants most to leave some record of himself, a proof, perhaps, that he has really existed He leaves his proof on wood, on stone or on the lives of other people This deep desire exists in everyone, from the boy who writes dirty words in a public toilet to the Buddha who etches his image in the race mind Life is so unreal I think that we seriously doubt that we exist and go about trying to prove that we do


  10. Andrea Andrea says:

    It was a week before the soldiery found escaped Indians , but they were discovered at last practicing abominations in the bottom of a ferny canyon in which a stream flowed that is, the twenty heretics were fast asleep in attitudes of abandon.The outraged military seized them and in spite of their howlings attached them to a long slender chain Then the column turned about and headed for Carmel again to give the poor neophytes a chance at repentance in the clay pits chapter I When it was It was a week before the soldiery found escaped Indians , but they were discovered at last practicing abominations in the bottom of a ferny canyon in which a stream flowed that is, the twenty heretics were fast asleep in attitudes of abandon.The outraged military seized them and in spite of their howlings attached them to a long slender chain Then the column turned about and headed for Carmel again to give the poor neophytes a chance at repentance in the clay pits chapter I When it was done, he asked the teacher to dismiss the school The pupils filed quietly out, but, once in the air, their relief was too much for them With howls and shrieks they did their best to kill each other by disembowelment and decapitation chapter VI Most lives extend in a curve There is a rise of ambition, a rounded peak of maturity, a gentle downward slope of disillusion and last a flattened grade of waiting for death John Whiteside lived in a straight line chapter XI They climbed stiffly from their seats and stood on the ridge peak and looked down into the Pastures of Heaven And the air was as golden gauze in the last of the sun chapter XII.Ah, Steinbeck s writing is a fine filigree of unparalleled beauty This collection of interconnected short stories revolving about the residents of an idyllic Californian farmland covers a lot of literary ground It gives us glimpses into family dramas, personal turmoil, thoughtful character study, and even a touch of Southern gothic Multiple chapters have light elements of ghosts and fairies, be they literal or metaphorical, and those were my favourites One can have lengthy conversations about the symbolical meaning of the Pastures, as its residents come and go looking for new beginnings, or running away from their past Lovely collection