Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
While Caleb is an extremely important character in this story, it is Bethia Mayfield, his very good friend, who narrates and shares her innermost thoughts in her diaries with us. Through her eyes we see what life on her island, what we know as Martha’s Vineyard, was like in the late 1600s to the early 1700s. She also journeys to Cambridge to work as a housekeeper for a school and sees how life there differs from her beloved island where she could more freely communicate with her Indian friends and the “rules” were much different.
Inspired by Caleb Cheeshahteaumauck, the first Native American to graduate from Harvard, the grounding of actual historical events makes this read a well-crafted history lesson as well as a well-written novel.