An ode to Nature is probably the best description for this book. The title is taken from an adaptation of a hymn to the god Prajapati from the Hindu Rig-Veda. And while the hymn is innocuous enough, it really is a foreshadowing of what is to come. In To A God Unknown, practically from the first chapter, the mood is one of a foreboding, as Joseph Wayne takes leave of his father who blesses him in a vaguely described but clearly unusual way, deliberately meant to evoke Hebrew Testament patriarchs. From there on, the mood just intensifies, as Wayne finds land that is his so much so that there is a passage that can easily be interpreted as his copulation with the earth. The brothers come out to join Joseph in California, buy adjacent land, forming a big family, marking its history in the soil and thus owning the depth of the Earth it comprehends. One brother, Burton, is a fundamentalist Christian, and in his religious fanaticism lies the seed of this story.Intense dialogues, intriguing scenarios and disturbing as much as emotional outcomes, this isn’t exactly an easy read. But Nature herself – Steinbeck’s undoubtful muse - isn’t unchanging, pious or benevolent as much as we may adore her.