Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks -300 pages
Once again, 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.
My Review: 2.5 stars
Sadly, I'm torn between 2 and 3 stars. I was bored through most of this novel and that came as a huge disappointment as Geraldine Brooks is one of my favorite authors. I found the main character development to be lacking and the language of the main character hard to read.
The last half of the book was better than the first however it had more to do with the English main character than it did with Caleb and his educational journey.
Tags: Native American, Puritan, 1600’s, Other Religions
Labels: 2011, Native American, Other Religions, Puritan