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Extended Audio Sample Calebs Crossing: A Novel Audiobook, by Geraldine Brooks Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (22,548 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Geraldine Brooks Narrator: Jennifer Ehle Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9781101526217
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A richly imagined new novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller, People of the Book

Once again, Geraldine Brooks takes a remarkable shard of history and brings it to vivid life. In 1665, a young man from Martha’s Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, Brooks has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure.

The narrator of Caleb’s Crossing is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless and curious, she yearns after an education that is closed to her by her sex. As often as she can, she slips away to explore the island’s glistening beaches and observe its native Wampanoag inhabitants. At twelve, she encounters Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a tentative secret friendship that draws each into the alien world of the other. Bethia’s minister father tries to convert the Wampanoag, awakening the wrath of the tribe’s shaman, against whose magic he must test his own beliefs. One of his projects becomes the education of Caleb, and a year later, Caleb is in Cambridge, studying Latin and Greek among the colonial elite. There, Bethia finds herself reluctantly indentured as a housekeeper and can closely observe Caleb’s crossing of cultures.

Like Brooks’ beloved narrator Anna in Year of Wonders, Bethia proves an emotionally irresistible guide to the wilds of Martha’s Vineyard and the intimate spaces of the human heart. Evocative and utterly absorbing, Caleb’s Crossing further establishes Brooks’ place as one of our most acclaimed novelists.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Caleb’s Crossing] contributes in good measure to the current and very welcome revitalization of the historical novel.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Writing in Bethia’s voice, Brooks offers a lyric and elevated narrative that effectively replicates the language of the era; she takes on the obvious issues of white arrogance, cultural difference, and the debased role of women without settling into jeremiad. The result is sweet and aching.”

    Library Journal

  • A BookPage Book of the Day in May 2011
  • Winner of the 2011 New England Book Award for Fiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the May 2011 Indie Next List
  • An 2011 Amazon Top 100 Book
  • One of the 2011 Bookpage Most Anticipated Book
  • A 2011 Barnes & Noble Best Book for Fiction
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2011
  • A 2011 Library Journal Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2011 Library Journal Best Audiobook
  • A 2011 Chautauqua Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin Peterson | 2/12/2014

    " I couldn't put this book down! I finished it in four hours. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynda | 2/10/2014

    " Liked much about the book. Characters very interesting. Mixture of high emotions and yet somewhat closed and secretive. Overall results - heavy "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anna Amato | 2/7/2014

    " I have to agree with Jennifer and want to add that the problem is not the story but the teller "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruthie | 2/6/2014

    " Geraldine Brooks is a favorite author of mine. This book, like her others, is very rich in historical detail. Although it started slow the story and character development was powerful and worth the wait. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 1/28/2014

    " This was a great read from an interesting perspective. The story captures the challenges early settlers of Martha 's Vineyards experienced living in close proximity to the area's Native Americans. The challenges of being a female in this time period are also well done. Worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen P. | 1/25/2014

    " Brook's novel is excellent. The historical fiction btings to life this time period in the hidtory of our country. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/20/2014

    " I don't read near as much fiction as I'd like, and this well-crafted historical novel about a young woman and a Native American boy growing up on Martha's Vineyard and finding their way to Harvard College c. 1661 makes for an engrossing tale. I enjoyed the sense of what life might have been like for early colonists and the interactions they might have had with the native people of their day. And to imagine the first Native American matriculating the Harvard - what a cool conceit, based on one surviving document from that era. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marian | 1/15/2014

    " This is the second book I read by Brooks, and while I like her writing style, I don't care much for her stories. In Caleb's Crossing, I felt like the original story had so much potential but just fizzled out. I also felt like there were a lot of parts that seemed farfetched for the circumstances. I can see why some people liked this book a lot, but it just wasn't for me... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara Albright | 1/11/2014

    " Great read...I recommend this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryll | 1/5/2014

    " A fictional account based on facts. This story moves quickly and develops a variety of characters in the early 1600's at Martha's Vineyard. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura Shannon | 11/10/2013

    " A beautiful story. I loved every bit if it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie Christensen | 11/7/2013

    " Rich in history but I didn't really become attached to any of the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 11/7/2013

    " beautiful writing. Loved the historical fiction "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Whisner | 10/24/2013

    " Factionalized account of an Indian educated at Harvard College in the early 1600s and the independent-minded white girl challenging the place of women in her Puritan family. Reminiscent of the children's book, The Witch of Blackbird Pond. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julianne Cassady | 10/18/2013

    " I enjoyed this historical fiction novel which has a mix of early American Indian and settlers interacting in 15th century New England educational setting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 10/17/2013

    " I listened to this book narrated by Jennifer Ehle. Truly wonderful. I got alot of busywork done as I found excuses to put in my headphones and listen to Bethia's narration. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane B. | 8/16/2013

    " I loved this book, both for the historical information on Martha's Vineyard and Harvard in the early years and form the well drawn characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ppackard | 7/9/2013

    " I read for Book Club, a bit hard to get into. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 6/26/2013

    " I thought the book was good. I wonder about the title. It made me curious about life at that time. The author seemed to do a good job of reality without political correctness. Made the story more interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline Cottom | 2/16/2013

    " I enjoyed this story of Caleb of the Wampanoag tribe becoming educated at Harvard. I found it fascinating to read about Harvard in its early years . . . simple cabins surrounded by muddy fields. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 2/12/2013

    " One of those amazing books that you're completely absorbed in... until the author suddenly jumps ahead fifty years to have the main character reminisce about her life at age 70. Noooooo... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bonnieolenn | 11/30/2012

    " Very good book. Interesting history of early Cape Cod settlement. Characters remained true. Well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betty | 10/12/2012

    " Interesting historical fiction about first Native American to attend Harvard. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Beecher | 9/1/2012

    " Fine novel about early colonial settlers and the Native americans "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 7/12/2012

    " I really liked this story,it was so sad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tisha | 7/28/2011

    " I enjoyed it like most of Geraldine Brooks' books, but didn't adore it like The People of the Book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie | 6/4/2011

    " Geraldine Brooks does such a good job writing interesting historical fiction that has me hooked on her characters but ultimately learning something about real history as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marjorie | 5/24/2011

    " A must read mix of fact and fiction about the early days of Harvard college and the first two American Indian students,, written beautifully and carefully researched by the author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 5/20/2011

    " A well-written, well-researched, attention-holding historical novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 5/19/2011

    " Loved it. Geraldine Brooks is such a wonderful storyteller. I found myself so engrossed that I read well into the night. It doesn't follow the path I thought it would but it follows history, as well as it can. I thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristine | 5/18/2011

    " She is such a great writer. Engrossed after 5 pages. "

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About the Author
Author Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of March, Year of Wonders, and People of the Book and the nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. She was previously a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Bosnia, Somalia, and the Middle East. Born and raised in Australia, she lives on Martha’s Vineyard with her husband, Tony Horwitz, and their two sons.

About the Narrator

Jennifer Ehle is a stage and film actress best known for her starring role as Elizabeth Bennet in the 1995 miniseries Pride and Prejudice. More recently she played the role of Myrtle Logue in the Academy Award–winning film The King's Speech.