Lament. Historical fiction can provide great reading along with insight: what was life like in the past, and in what ways does the past resonate with our common human experience. In her novel, Caleb’s Crossing, Geraldine Brooks takes a historical event and period, the matriculation of the first Native American at Harvard in the late 17th century, and imagines the tension and conflict in the characters who deal with the crossing from one culture to another. Brooks brings out the time period with vivid detail, and uses a first person narrator, Bethia Mayfield, to provide the link between the readers and the protagonist, Caleb. The narration is Bethia’s lament, and provides an engaging and entertaining reading experience, especially for those who like that period of American history, or who empathize with the challenges of cultural assimilation.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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