is reading "Caleb's Crossing" written by Geraldine Brooks for November/December book club.
Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks is set in 1665 during the settlement of Martha’s Vineyard by the English. Although the book is fiction, Brooks makes great effort to be true to the language, and culture of the time. The novel is based on a true story of Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk, the first native American to graduate from Harvard College. It is told by Bethia Mayfield, the daughter of a minister who was sent from England to bring Christianity to the salvages, pagans and heathens.
Bethia, denied a formal education by virtue of her sex is determined to seek out an education. The story is told through her writings. She recounts her experiences and her life in her spiritual diary. One entry tells of her encounter with Caleb from the Wampanoag tribe. While exploring the island, she observes “a band of them; painted strangely as I had been told they did for war…” only to realize they were playing a game. Intent on their game, she is about to leave when she felt eyes upon her. “I straightened and turned, and saw him for the first time — the boy we now call Caleb. They are fascinated with each other and begin to share their language and culture. They slowly develop a secret friendship. Things intensify when Bethia’s father brings Caleb into their home to convert him to God’s way and the scholarly life. Although, Bethia and Caleb’s paths are different, they are forever joined through the pursuit of learning.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation(ABC)