Good vs. Evil
This is a story of two familiesÃÂ´ lives and times all the way from The Civil War to WW1- The Trasks and the Hamiltons.
Most of the novel is placed in Salinas Valley in Northern California, Which is described as a land of sharp contrasts. The land is inviting and unfriendly, light and dark, safe and dangerous. These oppositions underlie the central clash in the novel, between what we see as good or as evil. Just as the land's contradictions, we get to follow these families' contradictions in the their behaviours, their feelings, their humanity.
The driving force of this book is the ability to choose between good and evil. The Trasks personalise the biblical story of Cain and Abel throughout the novel, and The Hamiltons are in so many ways the counterpoint to them.
One of the main characters is Adam Trask, whom we see struggling to find good and the hope for a new start.
His search continues throughout the book. He meets Cathy Ames, who is described as a monster by the author, blind to her true colors Adam marries her and this decision would be the start of a lifetime of misery for him and the next generation of Trasks.
Cathy embodies evil; lacking conscience she manipulates everyone around her. Her ability to only see the bad in people makes her a stranger to what good is. By the time Adam meets her she has murdered her parents and caused a man to kill himself among other terrible things.
As soon as she marries Adam she sleeps with his brother Charles Trask. Cathy gets pregnant much to her disappointment. She tries to end the pregnancy but she fails and she gives birth to twin boys- Caleb and Aaron; as soon as she...