Maria's Reviews > Caleb's Crossing

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
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's review
May 29, 2012

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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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Barbara Maria, I like your brief review. Your humor shines through!

Maria Hi, Barb! Finding it in the airport saved me from slitting my throat, what with no restaurant in the terminal from which to borrow an appropriately large knife or even sit in any degree of comfort, and a long, long interminable wait in an area sadly lacking in services (but it had 2 bars).

Barbara You only reinforce my hatred of the whole act of flying. However, had we been together, it would have been hilarious!

Maria Yes, that's true.

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