Caleb's Crossing
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Caleb's Crossing

By (author) Geraldine Brooks

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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. Watch a Video

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  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 30.48mm | 544.31g
  • 03 May 2011
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY
  • English
  • New.
  • 0670021040
  • 9780670021048
  • 24,330

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Author Information

Geraldine Brooksis the author of four novels, the Pulitzer Prize winning"March"and the international bestsellers"Caleb s Crossing," "People of the Book," and"Year of Wonders." She has also written the acclaimed nonfiction works"Nine Parts of Desire"and"Foreign Correspondence."Her most recent novel, "Caleb s Crossing," was the winner of the New England Book Award for Fiction and the"Christianity Today"Book Award, and was a finalist for the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction. Born and raised in Australia, she lives on Martha s Vineyard with her husband, the author Tony Horwitz."

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Review quote

Praise for Caleb's Crossing Caleb s Crossing could not be more enlightening and involving. Beautifully written from beginning to end, it reconfirms Geraldine Brooks s reputation as one of our most supple and involving novelists. Jane Smiley, "The New York Times Book Review" Brooks filters the early colonial era through the eyes of a minister s daughter growing up on the island known today as Martha s Vineyard [Bethia s] voice rendered by Brooks with exacting attention to the language and rhythm of the seventeenth century is captivatingly true to her time. "The New Yorker" A dazzling act of the imagination. . .Brooks takes the few known facts about the real Caleb, and builds them into a beautifully realized and thoroughly readable tale this is intimate historical fiction, observing even the most acute sufferings and smallest heroic gestures in the context of major events. Matthew Gilbert, "The Boston Globe" In Bethia, Geraldine Brooks has created a multidimensional, inspiring yet unpredictable character Bethia s forbearance, her quiet insistence, the way she creates her life using the best of whatever is handed to her, puts the struggles of American women today in perspective. Susan Salter Reynolds, "The Los Angeles Times " Original and compelling. . .[Brooks characters] struggle every waking moment with spiritual questions that are as real and unending as the punishing New England winters. Paul Chaat Smith, "The Washington Post" "

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