HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Loading...

Caleb's Crossing (edition 2011)

by Geraldine Brooks

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,0851373,170 (3.85)162
Member:heidip
Title:Caleb's Crossing
Authors:Geraldine Brooks
Info:Fourth Estate (2011), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Books Read in 2012
Rating:*****
Tags:Fiction, Adult

Work details

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

Recently added byrena100, riofriotex, almigwin, aprille, private library, jMitty, areni55, jwk
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 162 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
I enjoyed the picture of 17th century life in New England. The strictures of the Puritans, the difficulties of acquiring food clothing and shelter, and the rationalized exploitation of the Native Americans were made dramatically clear. The actual hero, Caleb, who really existed and did graduate from Harvard, was not the center of the book. It is really about the life story of a young girl named Bethia who wants to study like a boy! (Shades of [Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy ]by [Sholom Aleichem] ). She and Caleb form a friendship which disappointingly did not turn into romantic love. They learn each other's languages and wander through the natural world together, hunting, fishing and playing as children. Bethia's father wishes to convert the Native Americans to Christianity and arranges for two of those boys to be prepped for Harvard. The real Caleb died of Tuberculosis shortly after graduation as did the Caleb in the book. After a period as an indentured servant (to pay for her slow witted brother to attend school), Bethia marries a scholar who goes to Italy to study medecine, and returns to Cambridge and finally Martha's Vineyard. I enjoyed the story of Bethia but was disappointed in the skimpy treatment of Caleb. The description of the Wampanoag spiritual life in contrast to Puritan Christianity is the crux of the book. ( )
  almigwin | Mar 29, 2015 |
Fantastic account of early English & Native American life in 1660s. For once, Brooks gives conclusion to her characters and story (unlike Year of Wonders) and her conclusion is not hurried and unthought through (like People of the Book). ( )
  olongbourn | Mar 1, 2015 |
This exceptional work of historical fiction has as its root the fact that back in the mid-1600's a young Native American man graduated from Harvard at a time when there was a small building dedicated to the education of N.A.'s on Harvard's campus. The story is told through the eyes and life of Bethia Mayfield, who meets Caleb as a girl, befriends him, and follows him (in her own way) to Cambridge and Harvard. The books speaks to the concepts of prejudice and opportunity. As with most good historical fiction, it provides an eye-opening history lesson. ( )
  peggybr | Jan 11, 2015 |
I really appreciate Brooks' devotion to accurately depicting the period she is writing about. She takes great pains with it, and I just had to abandon another novel because the author didn't make the same effort. I admit that I erred in thinking the book was mainly about Caleb (note the title!), but I was not displeased in the end. When you're done, you can spend a lot of time just pondering the ways you can interpret the title... ( )
  MaureenCean | Jan 1, 2015 |
Excellent, absorbing tale. A note to marketing: readers enjoy good writing even when the hard parts of life are not whitewashed and there isn't a happy ending. ( )
  juniperSun | Dec 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
...This is a book for grown-ups written by Geraldine Brooks, who not only respects history, she loves it. So while she sets up a story that's easy to fall into, she doesn't shy away from the realities of those times. And Bethia and Caleb's lives take some unexpected turns. The result is a satisfying but sobering look at the early days of this country. This is a great pick for lovers of historical fiction...
added by Jcambridge | editNPR, Lynn Neary (Jan 1, 2012)
 
“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 insightful ­novelists.
 
While no masterpiece, this work nevertheless contributes in good measure to the current and very welcome revitalization of the historical novel.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Apr 15, 2011)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Geraldine Brooksprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ehle, JenniferNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Bizuayehu, who also made a crossing
First words
He is coming on the Lord's Day.
Quotations
So it is, out here on this island, where we dwell with our faces to the sea and our backs to the wilderness. Like Adam's family after the fall, we have all things to do. We must be fettler, baker, apothecary, grave digger. Whatever the task, we must do it, or else do without.
On a day so Godsent, your mind is untroubled, the entire world seems well. You gird for tragedy on a different sort of day--a day of bleak gray sky, blowing mists and bitter, howling winds. You pray to avert ill fate on such a day. This I know.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
When Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks came to live on Martha's Vineyard in 2006, she ran across a map by the island's native Wampanoag people that marked the birthplace of Caleb, first Native American to graduate of Harvard College--in 1665. Her curiosity piqued, she unearthed and fleshed out his thin history, immersing herself in the records of his tribe, of the white families that settled the island in the 1640s, and 17th-century Harvard. In Caleb's Crossing, Brooks offers a compelling answer to the riddle of how--in an era that considered him an intellectually impaired savage--he left the island to compete with the sons of the Puritanical elite. She relates his story through the impassioned voice of the daughter of the island's Calvinist minister, a brilliant young woman who aches for the education her father wastes on her dull brother. Bethia Mayfield meets Caleb at twelve, and their mutual affinity for nature and knowledge evolves into a clandestine, lifelong bond. Bethia's father soon realizes Caleb's genius for letters and prepares him for study at Harvard, while Bethia travels to Cambridge under much less auspicious circumstances. This window on early academia fascinates, but the book breathes most thrillingly in the island's salt-stung air, and in the end, its questions of the power and cost of knowledge resound most profoundly not in Harvard's halls, but in the fire of a Wampanoag medicine man.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Once again, the author 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, she has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure. The narrator of the story 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 the author'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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
1044 wanted
4 pay9 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.85)
0.5 1
1 7
1.5 1
2 18
2.5 7
3 143
3.5 68
4 298
4.5 42
5 125

Audible.com

3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 96,233,958 books! | Top bar: Always visible