Caleb's Crossing

Caleb's Crossing

Large Print - 2011
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In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, the author of the "New York Times" bestseller "People of the Book" has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure.
Publisher: Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2011.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9781410437341
Characteristics: 539 p. (large print) ; 23 cm.


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May 13, 2019

Another gem by Geraldine Brooks! This historical fiction novel is about, Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, the first Native American to graduate from Harvard in 1665. The author tells the story in such a way that she jumps ahead in one chapter then goes back and fills in all the missing parts in the following chapters. It can be confusing at first but it is a unique way of telling the story. This is definitely a book I would like to purchase and I will be reading it again. I loved the use of Puritan and archaic terms- you might want to keep a dictionary handy!

May 12, 2019

I enjoyed this read, a plausable snap shot of characters life, thoughts aspirations, and dreams, within the limitations of the time-frame Bethia lived.
It had all the ingredients of a good story, it described the emotions of the characters well, described the time, place and events, private and political well.
It did seem to rush midlife and endlife, it was sumerized, which was a let down ,a happy ending was not to be for the indians, but at that time, christianity was on a conquest to convert,according to history.
Bethia of course returns home to live out her days which she had longed for while away, according to the story.

Thank you for the opportunity, to read a book, I would not have picked myself.

Dec 28, 2018

This was a terribly disappointing book. While I enjoyed the peek into life in the colonies in the 1660's, it seems the author could not decide to tell Bethia's story or Caleb's. The plot details Bethia's life in detail from age 12 to 20 or so and then skips forty years in the future with little detail about her life her marriage on.

LoganLib_JennyI Aug 30, 2018

Pulitzer Prize winning Australian-American author, Geraldine Brooks tells the story of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard University in the 17th century. Brooks takes a small piece of history and with research and imagination weaves this fantastic tale set in the Puritan settlements of colonial Cambridge.
I loved this book as it blended some of my favourite themes - education, philanthropy, religion, kindness, cross-cultural conflict, gender roles, coping with loss - and was based on a sliver of historical fact.

May 27, 2018

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book but I found it an enjoyable read and would recommend it to others.

ArapahoeAnnaL Feb 14, 2018

The first Native American to graduate from Harvard - in 1665. Friendship amid two very different cultures; compellingly drawn picture of Martha's Vineyard in the early Colonial period.

Dennis Robert Rue
Feb 08, 2016

Definitely a skilled writer with imagination coupled with good research who knows how to make an interesting storyline punctuated with enough fact, drama and romance to tow the reader along.
Will definitely try her other novels.

Feb 03, 2016

Geraldine Brooks has to be one of the finest writers of our time. Her writing fully immerses her readers into worlds set in centuries past, and she manages to do so in a form that is truthful to the time and place of the book's setting. She gives us a glimpse into the lives of characters who are true to their time (and not modernized versions). Brooks' novels often explore the religious beliefs of the day, and often from the perspective of women.

"Caleb's Crossing" is based around the story of Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, of the Wampanoag tribe--the first Native American to graduate from Harvard University. True to Brooks' storytelling style, though, the book follows a young woman, in this case, the fictional Bethia, a young Puritan girl who befriends Caleb as a child and who finds her life intertwined with his after her minister father decides to help educate Caleb so he can go to the Indian School at Harvard. Bethia is a natural learner, but is a female, and therefore, although she takes in as much knowledge as she can, she knows her life is restricted to that of serving as a wife and mother and running a household.

I very much enjoyed following Bethia on her journey from Martha's Vineyard, to Cambridge, and beyond. Every time I picked up the book, I felt drawn into her world (and so grateful for the freedoms I have that she was denied!)

With that said, the book was not the fastest read. And I can't say I felt as compelled to pick it up as often as I would like a book to do for me. But all-in-all, I enjoyed it, and came away with a bit more knowledge of my country's history.

PimaLib_MaryG Dec 07, 2015

Author Geraldine Brooks is an amazing writer of historical fiction. In this novel she creates a fictional friend of Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, the first Native American to graduate from Harvard, to tell a story of what it may have been like in the early days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Bethia Mayfield educates herself in two by eavesdropping on her brother's lessons with her missionary father and through secret meetings with her friend Cheeshahteaumuck, the son of a Wampanoag leader. I had to stay up all night to finish reading this.

Nov 25, 2015

This was captivating historical fiction from a girls diary perspective. I would've preferred it to be about fiction with a happy ending instead of the white patrons proving they could train this primitive savage (spelled salvage in the book-like some kind of salvage operation). Caleb's dream to help his own people/tribe was not realized because he died of malnutrition, cold and prejudice. Reflects history but did not make for a good ending.

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