Monday, September 28, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

REVIEW: Caleb's Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks

 Book description:
Geraldine Brooks takes a remarkable shard of history and brings it to vivid life. In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, Brooks has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure.

The narrator of Caleb's Crossing is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless and curious, she yearns after an education that is closed to her by her sex. As often as she can, she slips away to explore the island's glistening beaches and observe its native Wampanoag inhabitants. At twelve, she encounters Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a tentative secret friendship that draws each into the alien world of the other. Bethia's minister father tries to convert the Wampanoag, awakening the wrath of the tribe's shaman, against whose magic he must test his own beliefs. One of his projects becomes the education of Caleb, and a year later, Caleb is in Cambridge, studying Latin and Greek among the colonial elite. There, Bethia finds herself reluctantly indentured as a housekeeper and can closely observe Caleb's crossing of cultures.
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a keeper, September 10, 2015

(Christy K Robinson)
Verified Purchase
This review is from: Caleb's Crossing: A Novel (Hardcover)
This book mesmerized me with its antiquated English (not stilted as was 17th century correspondence and literature), its story of two young people who crossed into the other's culture, and its loving description of the natural beauty of Martha's Vineyard. I was surprised that the author told the story not through the eyes of Caleb, the Wampanoag scholar, but through the eyes of a girl who loved him, who thirsts for knowledge.
I rarely read books more than once. But as I downsize my personal library through donations or sales, this book will be a keeper.