Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Caleb's Crossing - Geraldine Brooks

Synopsis from Barnes & Noble: 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.

My great-aunt recommended this book to me. And I am incredibly grateful.

I will say that it took several chapters for me to get into the book; I think because of the language. There are a lot of old English terms used (salvages) that took a bit of getting used to it. But once I was acclimated, the story just flowed…and not exactly how I expected it to.

I enjoyed the story. It is loosely based on a character I’d never considered – the first Native American to go to college in the colonies. I grew attached to both Caleb and Bethia throughout the narrative.

I definitely will be checking out more of Geraldine Brooks’s stories after I have made a bit of a dent in my own bookshelves.

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