I recently read East of Eden by John Steinbeck (1952).
This was my first reading of Steinbeck. (I know, I know! Save it!).
This powerful tale of fiction is every bit the masterpiece I was told it would be. The story traces the intertwined lives of two families (the Trasks and Hamiltons) in the Salinas Valley of California in the early 1900s.
JS beautifully develops his characters while building multiple plots that touch on such powerful themes as love, betrayal, guilt, loyalty, and freedom. The word-smithing is out of this world. The imagery and allusion simply remarkable.
A beautiful and powerful work. Thanks for the rec, Moe.