Escape From Your Life and Into Caleb's Crossing
I'm not normally a fan of historical fiction, but after reading Caleb's Crossing, Geraldine Brooks has permanently changed my mind. The story is told from the viewpoint of Bethia, the 14-year old daughter of a minister. Caleb is an American Indian boy she meets near her home on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Over the years they grown in friendship and he eventually comes to live with her family, as an "adopted" son of her father's. Many things change over the course of the years and eventually Caleb ends up at Harvard. This story is inspired by the true story of Caleb Cheeshateaumuck, the first native American to graduate from Harvard College back in 1665.
Tragedy strikes in Bethia's family but Caleb is her constant, always there for her... and she returns that favor in the end.
I found myself drawn to Bethia. She's such a strong character, for being so young, and at a time when women were considered property, she defies that idea. She's smart and wants to learn, but her family try to put her in her proper "place" in society. I was very surprised to see this viewpoint of a character because of the stereotype in my mind up women from the 1600s. Stories like this make me consider the fact that my ancestors might not have been so complacent with their lives, but then again, they could have been just fine with what they had.
I would highly recommend this book for those enjoy fiction that isn't just an easy read. This book will satisfy you both in an escape from your daily life and to satisfy the intellect.