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Avid Reader’s thoughts
A super read. This book is about how the early settlers mixed with and tolerated, or not, with the native Indians. There was an amazing classical education for the favoured few and some special scholarships for the natives. The story tells of hardships, segregation, and tolerance seen through the eyes of Bethia a protestant Minister`s daughter. Mainly set on the island now called Martha`s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
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.
Like Brooks’s beloved narrator Anna in Year of Wonders, Bethia proves an emotionally irresistible guide to the wilds of Martha’s Vineyard and the intimate spaces of the human heart. Evocative and utterly absorbing, Caleb’s Crossing further establishes Brooks’s place as one of our most acclaimed novelists.
Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
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Thanks so much. I recently read Geraldine Brooks’s ‘The Secret Chord’ and loved it. I must read the rest of her books as soon as I can.
Great to hear, thanks Olga.
Another promising and enjoyable read. *sigh*
The review alone makes me want to read this novel–not to mention the other books Geraldine Brooks has written. Onto my AZ Wish List it goes! Pinned & shared. 🙂