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.

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