Caleb's Crossing

Geraldine Brooks, Author
Geraldine Brooks. Viking, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-670-02104-8
Reviewed on: 03/14/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Hardcover - 539 pages - 978-1-4104-3734-1
Compact Disc - 10 pages - 978-0-14-242970-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-4417-9018-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4417-9016-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4417-9015-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4551-3626-1
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4417-9021-7
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-52568-5
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-52567-8
Hardcover - 306 pages - 978-0-00-733353-0
Paperback - 537 pages - 978-1-59413-534-7
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-0-00-736747-4
Paperback - 318 pages
Paperback - 418 pages - 978-0-00-733354-7
Hardcover - 12 pages - 978-0-85735-393-1
Hardcover - 12 pages - 978-0-85735-392-4
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Pulitzer Prize–winner Brooks (for March) delivers a splendid historical inspired by Caleb Cheeshahteaumauck, the first Native American to graduate from Harvard. Brooks brings the 1660s to life with evocative period detail, intriguing characters, and a compelling story narrated by Bethia Mayfield, the outspoken daughter of a Calvinist preacher. While exploring the island now known as Martha's Vineyard, Bethia meets Caleb, a Wampanoag native to the island, and they become close, clandestine friends. After Caleb loses most of his family to smallpox, he begins to study under the tutelage of Bethia's father. Since Bethia isn't allowed to pursue education herself, she eavesdrops on Caleb's and her own brother's lessons. Caleb is a gifted scholar who eventually travels, along with Bethia's brother, to Cambridge to continue his education. Bethia tags along and her descriptions of 17th-century Cambridge and Harvard are as entertaining as they are enlightening (Harvard was founded by Puritans to educate the "English and Indian youth of this country," for instance). With Harvard expected to graduate a second Martha's Vineyard Wampanoag Indian this year, almost three and a half centuries after Caleb, the novel's publication is particularly timely. (May)
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