Book review: Caleb's Crossing

Geraldine Brooks confirms her reputation as a gifted storyteller.
Geraldine Brooks confirms her reputation as a gifted storyteller.

BOOK: Caleb's Crossing
AUTHOR: Geraldine Brooks
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins Publishers Aust
RRP: $22.99

FORMER war correspondent, Geraldine Brooks confirms her reputation as a gifted storyteller with Caleb's Crossing, her third novel.

This follows her previous Pulitzer Prize winning novel, March and Year of Wonders, one of my all-time favourite stories.

This novel is set on the island community of Noepe, now known as Martha's Vineyard, and relates the story of a local tribesman, Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk who was born in the mid-1600s and was the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College.

Inspired by a real story, this is a remarkable work of imagination, with this slender factual thread woven throughout the story to produce an absorbing narrative.

Guiding the reader throughout Caleb's journey is Bethia Mayfield, a member of the founding Puritan community of Great Harbour on Martha's Vineyard.

Bethia encounters Caleb during one of her solo exploratory forays of the island and the two become firm friends.

They immerse themselves in exploration of the other's language, culture and customs as well exploration of the island.

Despite encountering discrimination and prejudice throughout his time at Harvard, Caleb does achieve his academic goal, although he never has the opportunity to use his knowledge to help his tribe.

Caleb's Crossing is a story of love, loyalty and perseverance.

While it was originally published in May last year, this latest edition marks the book's release in paperback.

For those who haven't read it already, don't miss this chance to delve into this absorbing tale.

Topics:  book review

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