Friday, 10 October 2014

Martha's Vineyard : Book 5

"Caleb's Crossing" by Geraldine Brooks takes place on Martha's Vineyard in 1660.  It follows a group of Puritans that broke away from the larger Massachusetts settlement.
It is a fictional account of Caleb, the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College.
The story is told by Bethia, the daughter of the preacher, who believes herself to be very sinful because she loves nature and has a great thirst for knowledge.  She also has great ability in language and learns to communicate with the Wampanoag.

Geraldine Brooks
Geraldine Brooks was born in Australia
and now lives on Martha's Vineyard.
She has written 6 books, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for "March".

I had previously read "Caleb's Crossing" and was happy to re-read it for this event.
I had also read these books by Geraldine Brooks:

"March" by Geraldine Brooks
Louisa May Alcott fictionalized her life in her novel "Little Women" written in 1868.  Geraldine Brooks took the story of Alcott's father, Bronson Alcott, and fictionalized that.
Actually, Bronson Alcott never did go to war, but it made an interesting narrative to put this man with abolitionist and transcendental convictions into the role of a union chaplain.  He ended up in spiritual torment, but wrote beautiful letters home to his family.
I read this book in 2012 for a book club.
It is a fascinating novel.  The story is not linear and is a little confusing but I appreciated the way Brooks put words together.

"Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women"
I read this when it came out in 1995.   It was fascinating and disturbing.
The title comes from Muhammad's son-in-law who said, "Almighty God created sexual desire in ten parts; then he gave nine parts to women and one to man".
This is completely non-fiction, with a great deal of research, giving great insight into the women in the Middle East.
It explains honor killings, death for homosexuals, and clitoridectomy- all horrific subjects.
Very well- written.

I programmed these blogs to be posted while I was away. 
I will return from Martha's Vineyard by the next posting.

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