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Caleb's Crossing

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Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

A richly imagined new novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller, People of the Book.

Once again, Geraldine Brooks takes a remarkable shard of history and brings it to vivid life. In 1665, a young man from Martha's Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, Brooks has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure.

The narrator of Caleb's Crossing is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless and curious, she yearns after an education that is closed to her by her sex. As often as she can, she slips away to explore the island's glistening beaches and observe its native Wampanoag inhabitants. At twelve, she encounters Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a tentative secret friendship that draws each into the alien world of the other. Bethia's minister father tries to convert the Wampanoag, awakening the wrath of the tribe's shaman, against whose magic he must test his own beliefs. One of his projects becomes the education of Caleb, and a year later, Caleb is in Cambridge, studying Latin and Greek among the colonial elite. There, Bethia finds herself reluctantly indentured as a housekeeper and can closely observe Caleb's crossing of cultures.

Like Brooks's beloved narrator Anna in Year of Wonders, Bethia proves an emotionally irresistible guide to the wilds of Martha's Vineyard and the intimate spaces of the human heart. Evocative and utterly absorbing, Caleb's Crossing further establishes Brooks's place as one of our most acclaimed novelists.

Review:

"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)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A New York Times bestselling tale of passion and belief, magic and adventure from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author.

Bethia Mayfield is a restless and curious young woman growing up in Martha's vineyard in the 1660s amid a small band of pioneering English Puritans. At age twelve, she meets Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a secret bond that draws each into the alien world of the other. Bethia's father is a Calvinist minister who seeks to convert the native Wampanoag, and Caleb becomes a prize in the contest between old ways and new, eventually becoming the first Native American graduate of Harvard College. Inspired by a true story and narrated by the irresistible Bethia, Caleb’s Crossing brilliantly captures the triumphs and turmoil of two brave, openhearted spirits who risk everything in a search for knowledge at a time of superstition and ignorance.

About the Author

Geraldine Brooks is the author of the novels People of the Book, March (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize) and Year of Wonders and the nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Born and raised in Australia, she lives on Martha's Vineyard with her husband, the author Tony Horwitz, and their two sons.

Visit geraldinebrooks.com

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 18 comments:

jeannee, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by jeannee)
Wonderful writing, bringing early settler and Native American cultures to life.
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Milkbrain, January 4, 2013 (view all comments by Milkbrain)
Once again, Brooks has created a rich, nuanced and belivable world. Her characters bring the past with all it's beautiful and ugly moments into living, breathing moments, each still pulsing with life. In Caleb's Crossing, she asks us to live with these characters as the native world becomes more and more vulnerable to the puritanical culture which deludedly vies itself as superior. Brooks is a marvel.
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Siri, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Siri)
favorite book
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View all 18 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670021048
Author:
Brooks, Geraldine
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Historical
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20120424
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
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Caleb's Crossing Used Hardcover
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Product details 336 pages Penguin Books - English 9780670021048 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , A New York Times bestselling tale of passion and belief, magic and adventure from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author.

Bethia Mayfield is a restless and curious young woman growing up in Martha's vineyard in the 1660s amid a small band of pioneering English Puritans. At age twelve, she meets Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a secret bond that draws each into the alien world of the other. Bethia's father is a Calvinist minister who seeks to convert the native Wampanoag, and Caleb becomes a prize in the contest between old ways and new, eventually becoming the first Native American graduate of Harvard College. Inspired by a true story and narrated by the irresistible Bethia, Caleb’s Crossing brilliantly captures the triumphs and turmoil of two brave, openhearted spirits who risk everything in a search for knowledge at a time of superstition and ignorance.

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