Caleb's Crossing: A Story of Culture, Faith, and the Bonds that Bind

BlogHer Review
Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks may be a work of historical fiction, but its message resonates through time and cultures and is still relevant to today's world.

Told through the eyes of Bethia Mayfield, the daughter of a Puritan minister in 1665, Caleb's Crossing is the story of the merging of two worlds. It is through her father's work that Bethia is introduced to the Wampanoag Indians and the book's namesake Caleb, a young native boy, who would have a lasting impact on her life.

Bethia is at odds with the world. She yearns for an education like the one her brother is receiving, but is instead forced to secretly listen in to his lessons from the shadows. Learning from afar and dreaming of a life bigger than the time will allow, Bethia befriends Caleb who is the beneficiary of the education she hopes to have for her own.

Caleb is a young man taken from one world -- that of the Wampanoag -- and immersed into the world of higher education at Harvard. One moment living a life of minimalism, the next learning the classics from the cultural elite of Cambridge.

To be completely honest, I am not a big fan of historical fiction. However, I take exception to my personal preference for mysteries and modern fiction with this book. Caleb's Crossing is ultimately the story of a woman trapped by her time and the world around her. Bethia is a woman often frustrated by her reality who still dreams to reach for the stars. It is through Caleb's education and their eternal friendship between the two that allows both characters truly cross between cultures to reach their potential.

Caleb's Crossing is definitely a good read to pack in the bag for these spring days at the park!

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