In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. From the few facts that survive of his extraordinary life, Geraldine Brooks creates a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. When Bethia Mayfield, a spirited twelve-year-old living in the rigid confines of an English Puritan settlement - and the daughter of a Calvinist minister - meets Caleb, the young son of a Wampanoag chieftain, the two forge a secret friendship that draws each into the alien world of the other. As Bethia's father feels called to convert the Wampanoag to his own strict faith, he awakens the wrath of the medicine men. Caleb becomes a prize in a contest between old ways and new, eventually taking his place at Harvard, studying Latin and Greek alongside the sons of the colonial elite. Fighting for a voice in a society that requires her silence, Bethia becomes entangled in Caleb's struggle to navigate the intellectual and cultural shoals that divide their two cultures. Once again, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Geraldine Brooks brings to vivid life a shard of little-known history, and through Bethia and Caleb explores the intimate spaces of the human heart.