Moloka'i

By Alan Brennert
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312304348, 384pp.)

Publication Date: September 9, 2004

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Paperback

Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.

Go


Description

Young Rachel Kalama, growing up in idyllic Honolulu in the 1890s, is part of a big, loving Hawaiian family, and dreams of seeing the far-off lands that her father, a merchant seaman, often visits. But at the age of seven, Rachel and her dreams are shattered by the discovery that she has leprosy. Forcibly removed from her family, she is sent to Kalaupapa, the isolated leper colony on the island of Moloka'i.

In her exile she finds a family of friends to replace the family she's lost: a native healer, Haleola, who becomes her adopted "auntie" and makes Rachel aware of the rich culture and mythology of her people; Sister Mary Catherine Voorhies, one of the Franciscan sisters who care for young girls at Kalaupapa; and the beautiful, worldly Leilani, who harbors a surprising secret. At Kalaupapa she also meets the man she will one day marry.

True to historical accounts, Moloka'i is the story of an extraordinary human drama, the full scope and pathos of which has never been told before in fiction. But Rachel's life, though shadowed by disease, isolation, and tragedy, is also one of joy, courage, and dignity. This is a story about life, not death; hope, not despair. It is not about the failings of flesh, but the strength of the human spirit.




About the Author

Alan Brennert is a novelist (Time and Chance) as well as an Emmy Award-winning screenwriter (L.A. Law). He lives in Southern California, but his heart is in Hawai'i.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. The book's opening paragraph likens Hawai'i in the 19th century to a garden. In what ways is Hawai'i comparable to another, Biblical, garden?

Indie Bookstore Finder











Update Profile