Wed 24 Aug 2011
I am a little late with this, with Labor Day weekend only 10 days away, but I have been doing a ton of reading this summer and I wanted to share some of the better books I have read.
I was reminded to do this when I saw a list of the books President Obama took with him on his vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. Less about the President’s reading and more about Martha’s Vineyard made me think of one of the great reading experiences I have had this summer: Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks.
About Caleb’s Crossing: “Once again, Geraldine Brooks takes a remarkable shard of history and brings it to vivid life. In 1665, a young man from Martha’s Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, Brooks has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure.”
I really enjoyed reading this book as it did what good books can: it took me away to another time and place and had me fully engrossed in the world it described. As a fan of history, New England and just a good story, this was the perfect book for summer reading.
The story is told in journal form from the perspective of a young girl whose family were early settlers of Martha’s Vineyard. The story of her daily life and friendship with a native boy is the backbone of the book, but there also is a rich history of early colonial life described here that is truly compelling. It took a little patience to get into the book as it is written in an old English style of the time, however, soon I was totally engrossed in the compelling story.
I would recommend Caleb’s Crossing to anyone who likes historical fiction based more in fact and a story that is believable as opposed to a fantasy with an incidental historical backdrop (not that there is anything wrong with that – I love that genre too). However, having read this book, I feel a little bit smarter and much more knowledgeable about the brave souls who developed the path of our great nation.