Title: Of Mice and Men
Author: John Steinbeck
George Milton and Lennie Small develop an unusual friendship as field workers in the plantations in California during the Depression, as they pursue a common dream- to have and settle in a piece of land that they can call their own. George is not educated, yet intelligent and assumes a self-imposed responsibility to protect his friend, while Lennie Small is a bulky man with a mental disability and a kind heart. Among the thousand problems they face in the fields they work, George and Lennie are given a ray of hope when Candy, an elderly ranch handyman, offers $350 contribution in order to help Lennie and George buy a farm, while asking them to return the favour by letting him stay with them. Do they get to live their dream? That forms the essence of the story.
Of Mice and Men is a heartwarming story that talks about two important things- friendship and dreams. While the men migrate from different places to work in California for a living, loneliness becomes something inevitable due to the inhuman behaviour they are subjected to, and the only healing they find for it is in friendship. So, the main themes that form the crux of this story happen to be friendship, dreams, and fate.
This is a very quick read of about a 100 pages, and it has a very beautiful story in it. Steinbeck's narration, as always, is gripping and it holds your attention to every word you read. The book also has a typical Steinbeck ending- no sugar coated happiness, but he leaves the reader with just the incident, however bitter, that feels real. But, this is not a sad book. There are plenty of joyful moments that make you appreciate the smallest comforts and the truest joys. You are sure to love Lennie, and also the other characters, by the end of the book. This is a classic that can be read in a day, and is a must-read.
I absolutely enjoyed it. It was unputdownable!