To a God Unknown is a novel by John Steinbeck, first published in 1933. The book was Steinbeck’s third novel (after Cup of Gold and The Pastures of Heaven). Steinbeck found To a God Unknown extremely difficult to write; taking him roughly five years to complete, the novel proved more time-consuming than either East of Eden or The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck’s longest novels.
In this novel, Steinbeck explores the relationship of man to his land. The plot follows a man, Joseph Wayne, who moves to California in order to establish a homestead. He is joined by his three brothers once his father dies, and they create a thriving ranch. When a drought strikes the land, however, Steinbeck analyses how men respond to having their faith shaken.
While fulfilling his dead father’s dream of creating a prosperous farm in California, Joseph Wayne comes to believe that a magnificent tree on the farm embodies his father’s spirit. His brothers and their families share in Joseph’s prosperity and the farm flourishes – until one brother, scared by Joseph’s pagan belief, kills the tree and brings disease and famine on the farm. Set in familiar Steinbeck country, To a God Unknown is a mystical tale, exploring one man’s attempt to control the forces of nature and to understand the ways of God.
Condition: Collector’s item, rare 1970 hardcover version. Comes with dust jacket, minor wear on cover. Excellent condition on the inside.