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Holly Weiss

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Member Since: Mar, 2010

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The Gifted Ones: The Fairytale
by P. G. Shriver

Cheater seeks the only place connecting her and her late family--Paradise. Her mother's compassion, her unknown power and the fairytale her only inheritance, but death cl..  
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Blogs by Holly Weiss

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks: A Review
6/9/2011 10:37:12 AM
Geraldine Brooks - A Special Niche in Outstanding Historical Fiction
The best historical fiction takes historical fact and pulls us in by creating interest in characters of the time period. Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks is one of the most versatile historical fiction writers of today. Her talent lays in takes a slice of history and creating a world we long to enter. Imaginatively conceived and exquisitely written with compelling characters, Caleb’s Crossing will command your attention and demand your respect.

1660. Great Harbor (now Martha’s Vineyard), Massachusetts. Bethia Mayfield anticipates the arrival of Caleb, a member of the Wampanoag tribe, to her home for tutoring with her minister father. Unperceived by her family, she and Caleb, who share a love of nature, have learned each other’s languages and formed a friendship over the past few years. Her brother and Caleb, the first Native American to do so, enter Cambridge to prepare for studies at Harvard. Bethia feels at a loss when she leaves Martha’s Vineyard to become a servant in the headmaster’s home. Her love of learning prods her secret vigilance in listening to all the lessons.

Integral elements of the remarkable Caleb’s Crossing are joy in learning, unexpected death, heartbreaking starvation, and the ever-present bond between Caleb and Bethia despite all hardship and prejudice against their bond. Knowledge equals power in this unique book. Caleb says, “And since it seems that knowledge is no respecter of boundaries, I will take it wheresoever I can…if necessary, I will go into the dark to get it.” Intrigued?

You will find yourself reading in a leisurely fashion to fully savor the evocative prose. “And then I woke, on my cold pallet in this stranger’s kitchen, with ice winds from the cracked window fingering my flesh and a snowflake melting slowly on the fireless hearth.”

The characters are absorbing. The soulful narrative voice of Bethia has an ethereal quality. She is haunted by guilt, taking upon herself blame for a smallpox outbreak, a death during the delivery of a baby—all because of her secret relationship with Caleb. Caleb yearns to be a Pawaaw, or healer of his people. For him, knowledge respects no boundaries. He glows with appreciation of life, zest for learning, curiosity and love of nature.

The release of Caleb’s Crossing coincides with an important Harvard University event. This May a degree will be awarded to Tiffany Smalley, the first Martha’s Vineyard member of the Wampanoag tribe since Caleb to graduate. An official portrait of Caleb will be painted in commemoration.

To what does Caleb cross? Read Caleb’s Crossing to find out. In the book, Ms. Brooks highlights this question: What are the effects of attempting to Christianize an already spiritual, established civilization? Her own opinion is not expressed. Instead, she tells Caleb’s story with forthrightness and clarity, allowing the reader to draw his own conclusions.

I thank Viking for providing a copy. The opinions expressed unbiased and solely that of the reviewer.

Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont
http://www.hollyweiss.com


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More Blogs by Holly Weiss
• A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner: A Review - Wednesday, October 05, 2011
•  Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks: A Review - Thursday, June 09, 2011  
• The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan: A Review - Thursday, June 09, 2011
• The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon: A Review - Saturday, June 04, 2011
• Elizabeth I by Margaret George - Friday, April 08, 2011
• A Review of A Place of Healing by Joni Eareckson Tada - Thursday, March 03, 2011
• The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing by Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards: A Revie - Friday, February 25, 2011
• A Review of The Other Life by Ellen Meister - Friday, February 25, 2011
• A Review of Under the Mercy Trees by Heather Newton - Monday, January 10, 2011
• Crestmont review by Russian Winter author - Thursday, November 25, 2010
• Do You Need a Vacation? - Sunday, October 24, 2010
• “Sojourns of Journalist a Metaphor for Spiritual Journey of Believer” - Thursday, October 21, 2010
• Sharing with Writers - Tuesday, September 21, 2010
• Pacific Book Review Loves Crestmont - Friday, September 10, 2010
• Should A Christian Novel Be Advertised as Overtly Christian? - Friday, August 27, 2010
• Whirlwind book signings - Friday, July 09, 2010
• Meeting My Characters in Real Life - Thursday, July 01, 2010
• An Insightful Reviewer - Friday, June 25, 2010
• Lover Of Historic Inns - Tuesday, June 15, 2010


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