To a god unknown
Joseph Wayne puts his faith in an old oak tree in a novel that explores the power of nature.
Joseph Wayne and his family from snowy Vermont have set out to conquer fertile California. Leaving his father on his deathbed, Joseph finds a place to settle down. His brothers soon follow Joseph to the rich valley he has found.
The bond with nature
Before long their father dies at home in Vermont, but Joseph can feel his spirit's presence on the homestead across the country. It seems to reside in the large oak tree that shadows their homes from the burning Californian sun.
As Joseph puts more and more trust and faith in the oak tree, almost to a point of worship, his devout Christian brother Burton becomes concerned. Burton thinks that, even as a farmer, Joseph's deifying of the tree and the land equals contempt of God and subsequently the tree must be destroyed.
The novel explores the power of nature and the invisible bond between humans and the world we live in. It took John Steinbeck many years to finish it although it is shorter than his other novels.
Growing up in a small rural village I can imagine even the smells of the Wayne homestead. Although I believe that the works of John Steinbeck will enchant even the most ocean loving reader, I recommend To a god unknown especially to those of you who feel connected to the forest and the land.