I love historical fiction. In the hands of a skillful author, a little shard of history can be woven into story that breathes life into what life was about in that time and place. When we think of history has being nothing more than the everyday events of someone’s life woven together with other everyday events of someone else’s life, we have a plausible reality upon which our lives today emerge.
Did you know that the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College was in the class of 1665? And that he was from the Wampanoag tribe on what we now know of as Martha’s Vineyard?
Pulitzer Prize winning author Geraldine Brooks takes this fascinating historical tidbit and fills in the blanks from the writings from the island’s Puritan preacher and Wampanoag lore to tell the story of Caleb. The story is told in the voice of the preacher’s daughter, Bethia, who strains against the restrictions and roles for her gender.
This wonderful historical story resonates with the history of our own lives. It’s timeless. And if we’re willing to open our hearts and minds, we can see our own 21st century narrative in its pages.
Thursday bonus: Author Geraldine Brooks shares how she came upon Caleb and her inspiration for this book.
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