Cannery Row was written about what literally happens on the street Cannery Row in Monterey California after hours. Published in 1945, Steinbeck explores the life of Doc who runs a biology supply house, Mack and the boys who prefer to live off the grid, and Dora the friendly Madam among other colorful characters. The discussion brought about feelings of why would anyone want to live the way Mack and the boys did, but they seemed quite happy and content with their arrangement.
Marie, the main character of Alice McDermott's Someone, brings us through her life beginning at age 7 when she is sitting outside her Brooklyn apartment waiting for her father to come home from work. She is from a typical Irish Catholic family, and her trials and tribulations are no worse, or better than that of most people. It is the style of writing that draws you into the book, and I found it a very enjoyable read.