John Steinbeck’s books usually happen in California, but The Pearl happens in Mexico. The story comes from Mexican folklore and Hollywood made it into a movie as soon as Steinbeck published it.
I listened to this book on Libby, the library app. Somehow, most books I find there this year are available on audio format more than in e-book form. It poses a challenge to me because auditory processing is not my strong suit. However, it seems to work. It stretches my skills and helps me utilize the time I have at co-op, when I am waiting on my children to finish their classes.
Back to The Pearl. As a novella, this book can definitely be read in one week. The story will shock you, probably. A poor pearl diver finds a huge pearl and then cannot even sell it or protect it because most of the people in his life fight him for it in one way or another.
There are so many beautiful themes throughout the book: good and evil, perseverance, family, paradox etc. Steinbeck grips you with his story telling. If you pay close attention, you will see all sorts of lessons.
I like books in which perseverance pays off, but this is not one of those stories. Steinbeck is not Oprah. It was very sad, the ending. Tragic, really.
There are several movie adaptations and you can find them online for free. Personally, I did not want to relive the story in movie format. Too sad. But yes, this book is required reading in many schools because of its literary value. Wait until high school, though.