John Steinbeck – The Winter of Our Discontent

68. The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck (1961)
Length: 281 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 25 July 2014
Finished: 28 July 2014
Where did it com from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 22 August 2013
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Ethan Allen Hawley is a former member of Long Island’s aristocratic class. His family can trace its roots all the way back to the time of the Pilgrims; and he can count among his illustrious forebears sea-captains and men of property. He is an heir to the upright New England tradition.

Due to Ethan’s late father losing the family fortune, Ethan now works as a grocery clerk in the same grocery store that his family once owned. With the decline in their social status, Ethan’s wife, Mary, becomes restless, and his two teenage children are eager for the material comforts which Ethan can no longer provide. They resent their mediocre social and economic status, and do not value the honesty and integrity that Ethan struggles to maintain in the face of a morally corrupt society.

Growing increasingly jaded by what he views as the underhandedness, cheating and shady dealings that seems to permeate his town with regard to the acquisition of money and success, Ethan, in a moment of personal moral crisis, decides to take a holiday from his own scrupulous code of ethics – confident that he will not become corrupted by his actions.

I did enjoy reading this book, although I must admit that initially I found the character of Ethan Allen Hawley slightly annoying. I eventually got more used to his manner and by about halfway through the book I was caught up in the flow of the plot. Overall, I thought that this was an interesting story. In my opinion, it certainly deserves to be classified as a classic, although personally, I may have preferred reading some of John Steinbeck’s other works. I give this book an A! 

A! – (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight


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