We follow the Joad family as they are forced to move from Oklahoma to California looking for work. The dust bowl has limited their chances of making money from their land. The bank forcloses, on their property, and they must leave. They pack up what they can in their truck, and the family starts driving west to California. They have read a pamphlet that advertises work. Placing all their hopes on the notion of finding work, they leave everything behind on the slim chance they will be able to survive on what they find out west.
The Grapes Of Wrath is as applicable today as it was when Steinbeck wrote it. The exact problems might differ, but people still struggle to make payments to the bank, face foreclosures, struggle to find work that pays a living wage, and face prejudice because of their socioeconomic status. People still face hard realities as they struggle to survive.
The message in this book is mainly one of hope. How to meet the challenges life presents without the hope of something better, and will you be able to survive the challenges? On their way out west, some people try to explain that there are no jobs there either. Too many people have gone west looking for work. The Joad family refuses to believe people leaving California. They refuse to give up hope that they will be able to find a way to survive.
This was my first full Steinbeck novel, and I found his presentation style interesting. Steinbeck's writing has a complexity to it, that will allow for new realizations every time you read it. It is no surprise that this was a Pulitzer Prize winner. I think this is a book adults are more likely to enjoy reading, but anyone who is interested, should of course, try reading it.
If you like Steinbeck I recommend reading this book.