Maria's Reviews > Caleb's Crossing
May 29, 2012
What utter relief to find something readable at the airport when suddenly faced with a delayed flight. While not as compelling as People of the Book, this is well-written and engrossing. It's based on the true story of the first Indian to graduate from Harvard in 1665, seen through the eyes of an appealing young English protagonist, Bethia, living under the constricting Puritan ethic of the times in a newly formed settlement on Martha's Vineyard. Apart from Bethia's coming-of-age struggles, the narrative details the treatment of the native Indians by these colonists, the interesting tribal customs and values of the Indian population and their brutal displacement, the privations of the Puritans in a new land and their misguided, tragic attempts to convert the Indians from what seems, here, a clearly superior philosophy. Ah, religion. There is nothing new here, but the writing is sometimes luminous, and Bethia a well-drawn and satisfying character.
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