Compared to Bethia I am Selfish: Caleb's Crossing

BlogHer Review

Have you ever wished you could be a better person overall? Thinking of others’ needs before your own; finishing a task before someone else has to think about it; giving up your dreams for someone else. Throughout reading Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks, I was constantly reminded of how I selfish I can be in comparison to Bethia, the narrator of the book. She did all of the above and more. And not once do I remember her objecting. After finishing the book, my first thought was how I would love to become that kind of wife, daughter, friend, and coworker to everyone around me.

While I went into the book excepting to hear more about the life of the first Native American graduate of Harvard College, Caleb, and his “crossing” from his point of view, I was pleasantly surprised to follow his story through the eyes of Bethia, who like most women, don’t forget the small details and gave us an account of those in Caleb’s life that maybe even he didn’t know about.

One way I like to decide whether a book is good or not is how quickly it takes me to imagine the characters in their setting. I admit that Caleb’s Crossing did take myself a bit of reading until I really felt like I could envision what was going on, but once I was able to picture it all I enjoyed walking through the lives of these characters in an era of that I had not previously known much about.

Overall, I would recommend this book to those who appreciate the details and are willing to give this book some time to get into, because I don’t think they will be disappointed in the end.

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