Connieangela: I Couldn't Put Down Caleb's Crossing

BlogHer Review

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks is a historical novel set in what is now Martha’s Vineyard in the late 1600s. Bethia Mayfield is the daughter of a Puritan minister that is trying to covert the Wampanoag Indians to be Christians, which results in discord between the island’s inhabitants. Bethia is a very smart girl who longs to be educated like her brother. She secretly listens to his lessons and soaks in the information like a sponge. While exploring the land she encounters a young Indian boy that she nicknames Caleb. Their secret friendship allows her the freedom to be herself and through sharing each other’s lives, they create a bond that can not be broken.

Bethia experiences tragedy and heartbreak. Years later, fate brings Caleb near her again and they both struggle with their new life in Cambridge, he as a student and she as a housekeeper. Through twists, turns and struggle Bethia assists Caleb to finally find peace, and she finds happiness and a life that she always wanted.

I loved this book! I’m a big fan of historical accounts, especially if they are from the viewpoint of a woman. The other thing that I liked is that it’s written as if Bethia is writing her story in a journal. This allows the reader to have an insight into her true emotions and thoughts ... the good and the bad.

I enjoyed the progression of Caleb’s character from a "salvage" who didn’t speak English to an extremely bright scholar of Latin and Greek! I loved that he remained strong and didn’t let how people received him keep him from reaching his goal.

I read this book in one weekend; I was unable to put it down. I was ultimately so happy with the ending and felt like I had closure for Bethia’s character, because I’d become quite attached to her. I was thrilled to discover that this book was based on actual events, that Caleb was a real person and he really did succeed at Harvard.


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