Caleb's Crossing

  • by Geraldine Brooks
  • Narrated by Jennifer Ehle
  • 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Caleb Cheeshateaumauk was the first native American to graduate from Harvard College back in 1665. Caleb's Crossing gives voice to his little known story. Caleb, a Wampanoag from the island of Martha's Vineyard, seven miles off the coast of Massachusetts, comes of age just as the first generation of Indians come into contact with English settlers, who have fled there, desperate to escape the brutal and doctrinaire Puritanism of the Massachusetts Bay colony. The story is told through the eyes of Bethia, daughter of the English minister who educates Caleb in the Latin and Greek he needs in order to enter the college. As Caleb makes the crossing into white culture, Bethia, 14 years old at the novel's opening, finds herself pulled in the opposite direction. Trapped by the narrow strictures of her faith and her gender, she seeks connections with Caleb's world that will challenge her beliefs and set her at odds with her community.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Caleb's Crossing a Challenge

As an avid book reader, this presentation convinced me that I would probably not have finished the written version. Ms Ehle's concise rendition put me right there in that time zone and I could visualise the characters. She glided over the intense scholarly references and Latin quotations, which I might have baulked at, with ease, so that combined with Ms Brooks's writing technique, I became totally immersed right to the end. How interesting that the one review I read was a total contradiction of this view.
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- Marion

Superb story and an exceptional presenter

I came to know Geraldine Brooks' works when I had an extended stay in hospital some years ago. I came to know her as a gifted author with a rare gift for bringing history to life. In that same time I have become an Audible fan. I love the overall quality of the presentations I have heard. I note that two of Geraldine's books still are not available in audio formats, I hope that will be rectified soon.

I was excited to see the new book. I had no inkling at the beginning of what poor Caleb was crossing. I became immersed in the characters particularly Bethenie. I was fascinated by the tales of a very new Harvard - how could anyone then have foreseen what was to become one of the pre-eminent universities in the world. Learning about schooling in a hard land, the place of women, the struggle of life in a hard land for which the characters were not always equipped.

Through the story written by Brooks and narrated with a fine sense of the place of people throughout - excellent.

Jennifer Ehle made this story for me. The timbre, the overall quality of her voice and her timing as interwoven stories developed and reached their quite appropriate end, made me sad to be coming to the end of this story. Geraldine Brooks used old English and manufactures native indian language from one or more tribes - if I read this I would stumble. Jennifer Ehle nails the language structures gracefully. These language twists and turns a a very fascinating part of the overall story. And I have since completing the book gone a read-up on the early history of a great university.

Enjoy this one!
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- Martin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-09-2011
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd