Thursday, October 4, 2012

Book Review: Caleb's Crossing

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

A loosely based fiction novel on a Native American called Caleb, an actual historical figure who was the first Native American to graduate from Harvard. The book is told from the perspective of Caleb's friend Bethia Mayfield, a Puritan settler on Martha's Vineyard. She befriends Caleb knowing her father and the community would greatly disapprove of her friendship with a "salvage." Through Bethia we watch as Caleb learns more about the English culture and Puritan religion eventually converting to Christianity and moving into the settlement to be educated and prepped for Harvard by Bethia's father.
I enjoy historical fiction. It's a chance to relearn history in a way other than a dry, boring textbook. I found this particular one interesting for two reasons: 1. how the English and Native Americans coexisted (or not) during colonial times and 2. how women were treated and viewed in the 17th century (making me extremely glad once again that I was born when I was).
The story is essentially about Caleb and his journey from his world into the English world. But as it's told from Bethia's perspective at times it feels like it is more her story. Still I found her life to be interesting as well as her friendship with Caleb.
This book started out slow, but once I got into it I enjoyed it. It's not an earth shattering book. A couple years from now I probably won't be able to remember much about it other than I read it and enjoyed it.

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion for this review.

Next month: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

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