The new novel from Pulitzer Prize-winner Geraldine Brooks, author of the Richard and Judy bestseller 'March,, 'Year of Wonders, and 'People of the Book,. Caleb's Crossing is inspired by the little known story of the first native American to graduate from Harvard College in 1665. Caleb, a Wampanoag from the island of Martha's Vineyard, seven miles ...
The new novel from Pulitzer Prize-winner Geraldine Brooks, author of the Richard and Judy bestseller 'March,, 'Year of Wonders, and 'People of the Book,. Caleb's Crossing is inspired by the little known story of the first native American to graduate from Harvard College in 1665. Caleb, a Wampanoag from the island of Martha's Vineyard, seven miles off the coast of Massachusetts, grew up in the first generation of Indians to experience contact with English settlers. (The first English settled the island in 1641, to escape the brutal and doctrinaire Puritanism of the Massachusetts Bay colony.) The story is told through the eyes of Bethia, daughter of the English minister who educates Caleb in the Latin and Greek he needs in order to enter the college. As Caleb makes the crossing into white culture, Bethia, 14 years old at the novel's opening, 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.
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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