Caleb's Crossing

Front Cover
Fourth Estate, 2011 - Biographical fiction - 306 pages
87 Reviews
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.

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User Review  - pennsylady - LibraryThing

"In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. The narrator of Caleb's Crossing is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement ... Read full review

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User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

Based on a real individual – the first Native American to graduate from Harvard – Brooks has crafted a fine work of historical fiction that explores the dangers and exhilaration of crossing boundaries ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Geraldine Brooks is the author of three novels, the Pulitzer Prize-winning March and the international bestsellers People of the Book and Year of Wonders. She has also written the acclaimed non fiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Born and raised in Australia, she lives on Martha's Vineyard with her husband, Tony Horwitz, and their two sons.

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