This amazing book by bestselling author Geraldine Brooks is based partly on the true story of the life of Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, the first Native American to graduate from Harvard. He grew up on Martha’s Vineyard in the 1600’s, during a time when the native and white populations were struggling to live together in peace and learn from each other, the natives more open-minded at he differences in their spiritual beliefs than the whites, who sought to convert them to Christianity. The title refers to the struggle of Caleb in reconciling his native beliefs to his newfound Christian beliefs. Ms. Brooks convincingly tells the story in the language of the time, and I felt transported to the windswept island and the mucky, shantytown of early Cambridge, Harvard yard.
Here is some amazing info: after Caleb, the next Martha’s Vineyard Wampanoag to attend Harvard is Tiffany Smalley, graduating THIS year! Here is a link to a fascinating article about Tiffany and the archaeological dig at the site of the original Indian School at Harvard, where Caleb studied!