I have to admit, I was prepared to dislike this book when I began it. I was never a fan of Of Mice and Men and I expected more of the same from The Grapes of Wrath. But I found myself liking this book more and more as I went on. As a history nerd, I knew all about the Dust Bowl migration of the 30s, but Steinbeck succeeded in drawing me emotionally into the plight of the Joad family. I rejoiced when they found food or work and was pained at the horrible treatment of the Joads and other migrant families as they made their way to California. I felt the impotent rage of the workers as they were continually harassed by cops, degraded by their fellow countrymen, exploited by their employers, or abandoned by their government.
My only complaint about the book is how it ended. It concludes with the Joads trying to escape the rising flood waters that have flushed them out of their temporary home. What happens next?! Does the family make it? What about Tom? I want to know more!