Caleb's Crossing Is As Real As It Can Get
I just finished reading Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks and I will say this -- I could not put it down from the first page to the last. I kept going back to it in the middle of everything I had to do.
I was drawn to the blossoming friendship between Bethia and Caleb -- two people from seemingly different worlds. The difference was more apparent than real as I would later realize because at the core of this friendship is a genuine openness to understand the other. Both of them are so much alike in their quest for knowledge about the world they both lived in yet so different in what they saw.
I loved how through the words and eyes of Bethia the reader is made to understand that what we think we see, is not necessarily the reality of it. Just like the wetu, which to one who does not know about the way of life behind it would seem harsh and simple, was actually soft and luxurious inside. There is always another side to everything and that we should all strive to learn more before coming to a conclusion. To consciously try to understand the other point of view, and if possible refrain from judgment as we may never know all there is to know.
It is a story of loss, and of getting on with life even though it seems insurmountable. There is a point where you think Bethia has seen it all at a very young age, but then life takes over and she is taken for more grief. Geraldine Brooks captures pain, hope and love very well, you will feel it as you move from page to page.
It is also a story of faith, a realistic portrayal of doubts one has after going through trials in one's life. It is a story of how one gets on with life and holding on to ones beliefs.
It is also a story of unwavering faith in another person one has come to know. Of believing in the inherent goodness of a friend. This book was as much Bethia's crossing as it was Caleb's.
I will admit that I didn't think I would enjoy this book, but I did. I think you'd find it interesting as well -- something to add to your reading list.