Friday, July 6, 2012

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert

Wow. I listened to the audio version of this book, so beautifully narrated by Anne Noelani Miyamoto. Her character's voices and the pronunciations of the Hawaiian names and language really brought this story to life for me. I fell in love with sweet Rachel, Katherine, Kenji, Papa, Uncle Pono, Halleola, and Ruth. Spanning the years from 1896 to 1970, this is the story of Rachel Kalama, diagnosed with leprosy and sent to live on Moloka'i in the Kalaupapa settlement. Very difficult to hear is the ravaging effect of this brutal disease and the way the inflicted were treated by the outside "clean" world. I had heard of the colony long ago but did not know much about it. This novel helped me to better understand the people who made a life for themselves there and feel more compassion by seeing it from their perspective.

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