The new novel from Pulitzer Prize-winner Geraldine Brooks, author of the Richard and Judy bestseller 'March', Sunday Times bestseller 'Year of Wonders' and 'People of the Book'. Martha's Vineyard, 1650s: Bethia Mayfield is a young girl growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor, amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless, bright ...
The new novel from Pulitzer Prize-winner Geraldine Brooks, author of the Richard and Judy bestseller 'March', Sunday Times bestseller 'Year of Wonders' and 'People of the Book'. Martha's Vineyard, 1650s: Bethia Mayfield is a young girl growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor, amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless, bright and curious, but denied the education that her brothers receive, she slips away as often as she can to explore the island's wild landscapes and observe its native Wampanoag inhabitants. At the age of twelve, she encounters Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the children form a secret friendship that gradually draws each into the alien world of the other. Meanwhile, Bethia's minister father is trying to convert the Wampanoag, awakening the wrath of the tribe's shaman against whose magic he must test his own beliefs. And when he takes it upon himself to educate Caleb, it will further divide the communities - within a year the boy is learning Latin and Greek, and leaves the island to study at Harvard. As Caleb makes the crossing into white culture, Bethia finds herself pulled in the opposite direction. Trapped by the narrow strictures of her faith and her gender, she seeks connections with Caleb's world that will challenge her beliefs and set her at odds with her community...
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Well researched, fact filled, and written for inclusion of 17th century language, religious mores, personal interactions of life centered on a narrow interpretation of Christianity with intent to convert Native Americans. However, development of heroine's character appears too contrived, her role overly stressed, perhaps naively so, to bear witness to Caleb becoming the first Native American graduate of Harvard.
May 25, 2013
Great historical Fiction
This book shows that times have not changed very much in how "we" treat different groups in our society. I picked this book up accidentally and then recommended it to 2 different book cubs to which I belong. The members of each group had lively discussions about the book- although not everyone enjoyed it. I found it a great read and it showed much about the early life in Massachusetts and the difference between what is preached and what is done!
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