Cathy Ames, East of Eden

Cathy Ames, East of Eden

 

I love Cathy Ames. Despite the fact that she’s completely horrible, I still love her character. She’s the first one I chose when I decided to do a Book Style post.

I think that when it comes to fashion, more than anything, Cathy is classy. I chose a black midi skirt to start with, with a soft, chunky knit sweater. It shows that while she runs the house, her services aren’t for sale, so she doesn’t have to dress for her customers. I thought that the lace-up booties looked appropriately old-fashioned but still fashion-forward.
The Chloe satchel bag, the tartan scarf, the Tory Burch studs, and the Lugano watch exude classiness, in my opinion, and the deep red is perfect for someone with killer instincts like Cathy.
The gloves will keep Cathy’s arthritic hands under wraps, and the glasses and floppy hat will help her disguise herself when she sneaks into the church on Sundays.
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East of Eden

Wow. This book was spectacular. I’ve been avoiding writing a review for a while, because I don’t really know what to say. That happens to me often when books are so expansive. This one covered literally decades, with two different families, and at least a few generations of each. It was… well, yeah. Expansive.

I’m going to focus on characters, since the story really is character-driven.

I loved Sam Hamilton. He was the epitome of good, and I loved him for that. I loved that he did the right thing, always. I loved that he loved Liza, despite her annoying faults. I loved that he loved every one of his kids for their uniqueness. I loved that he was the kind of person Lee would open up to.

I loved Lee. I loved that he, too, was genuinely good. He manipulated people through his use of Pidgin, but he did so in order to make his life work the way he needed it to, and he didn’t do anything bad by speaking Pidgin – he simply gave people what they expected. I really enjoyed that aspect of his story.

Cal, I think, was my favorite. I loved his internal struggle, as he fought so hard to be good, even though he believed that deep down, he was bad. I loved that he fought it. When Adam asked him where Aron was, and he responded with “How do I know? Am I supposed to look after him?” I literally groaned because I was terrified at what Cal might have done, and how he might have fulfilled his legacy of being the bad one, the Cain figure. Thankfully, what he did to Aron still left Aron with a choice, and Cal had to accept that it wasn’t his fault. Timshel. I loved it.

Apparently some people don’t love the fact that Cathy is pure evil, apparently with no real reason or motivation for it. They say it makes her a less believable character. I don’t think so. I think that sometimes, people just choose evil because they can. I think that Cathy’s choices mark her as someone who is selfish, mean, and coldhearted, and I don’t think there needs to be any explanation given for that. It’s just who she is.

The plot was huge. How do you sum up a book like East of Eden? It’s about so much, it’s hard to just give a quick overview. Five stars, definitely.

The half-wit

“At length a bumbling hairy half-wit was brought in for questioning. He was a fine candidate for hanging because not only did he have no alibis, he could not remember what he had done at anytime in his life. His feeble mind sensed that these questioners wanted something of him and, being a friendly creature, he tried to give it to them. When a baited and set question was offered to him, he walked happily into the trap and was glad when the constable looked happy. He tried manfully to please these superior beings. There was something very nice about him. The only trouble with his confession was that he confessed too much in too many directions. Also, he had constantly to be reminded of what he was supposed to have done. He was really pleased when he was indicted by a stern and frightened jury. He felt that at last he amounted to something.”

This reminded me immediately of Brendan Dassey, and when I read it to Lance, he said the same thing. So disturbingly realistic and reflective of our society.

“The baby was drunk

for two days and a half. Whatever may have happened in his developing brain, it proved beneficial to his metabolism: from that two and a half days he gained an iron health. And when at the end of three days his father finally went out and bought a goat, Adam drank the milk greedily, vomited, drank more, and was on his way. His father did not find the reaction alarming, since he was doing the same thing.”