Friday, April 20, 2012

Review--Caleb's Crossing

   Caleb's Crossing, an historical novel by Geraldine Brooks, was very interesting, as it covered an often-neglected aspect of American History. In the early years of the colonies, when the Puritans were actively seeking to convert the Native Americans from what they deemed to be pagan beliefs, there were Indians taken into the "fold", so to speak, and educated in the European fashion. This meant having a firm grasp of Latin, Greek, the classics, and of course, the Bible.
    Based on the true story of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard, Caleb's Crossing is a lovely story of friendship, learning, and tradition. Told from the point of view of a young Puritan girl, the daughter of a minister seeking to convert the natives, the narrative is tender and innocent, as Bethia watches the world change before her eyes and the native peoples struggling to find their places in it. Some bend and find their niches, in order to survive, while others fight and curse, never destined to assimilate into the culture that eventually annihilates theirs.
    The book is sensitive to the early plights of the Indians, who struggled to hold on to their traditions and beliefs in the face of the relentless flood of newcomers from over the waters. The narrative reminded me just how insensitive the early settlers were to those who were here before them, reminding me that this country has some dark histories that are often ignored.
    For a fascinating reminder of that turbulent period of this nation's history, this book is worth your time. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
~ Karina

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