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Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
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Moloka'i (2003)

by Alan Brennert

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1,527None4,805 (4.13)104
19th century (15) 2008 (6) 2009 (11) 2013 (8) book club (25) family (14) fiction (140) Hansen's disease (23) Hawaii (176) historical (27) historical fiction (135) history (12) Kalaupapa (15) leper colony (26) lepers (14) leprosy (117) library (6) love (6) medical (6) medicine (6) Molokai (33) novel (17) own (9) read (19) read in 2011 (10) read in 2012 (6) to-read (86) unread (8) wishlist (6) women (15)
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» See also 104 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
for TLC book club; I thought I read this before, but it's not the book I remembered. Rachel is sent to the leper colony on Hawaii's Kalaupapa settlement, quarantined from her family and everyone who does not have leprosy. The tale is of her growing up, changes or lack thereof in the colony as it expands and grows, not keeping up with the outside world. It tells of her loves and losses, particularly her one child Ruth, who she has to give up so she can grow up healthy, because how leprosy spreads was not known. Eventually, sulfa drugs cure Rachel and she leaves the islands to find Ruthie. When she is dying, however, she returns to Kalaupapa to live out the rest of her life in the place that she knew most of her life. And the story ends with her death and being buried next to her husband and love, Kenji. ( )
  nancynova | Apr 14, 2014 |
We all loved this book. The topic was one of which we were all ignorant; leprosy, Hawaiian history, treatment, etc. The author did a good job of keeping any one element from being demonized. The middle is a bit like a romp through history and not particularly connected to the story other than to show the passage of time. This is a tragic episode in history and yet the author managed to the story from bogging down.

We ate at Thai Thai Too -1st time for this restaurant ( )
  Bibliofemmes | Mar 17, 2014 |
I'd give this a 4.5, but you know half stars on goodreads..

Seriously amazing book. I cared so much for every character that the main reason I picked 4.5 rather than 5 is that I wish I knew what happened to Sister Catherine and her father in more detail (glanced over during a period where years had to be skipped).
( )
  earthforms | Feb 2, 2014 |
Seven year old Rachael dreams of sailing the seas with her father to far off countries just as soon as she is old enough. Instead, the dreaded patch of leprosy is found on her leg and she is taken from her family and put on the island of Moloka’i where she will spend the next 50 years of her life segregated from non-afflicted people. This is a story of life, love, fear, sacrifice, friendship and death. The author told this story with great empathy but also with a touch of humour and much humanity making his characters come alive for us. It took me about 40 pages to actually get into the book and to appreciate this excellent story. ( )
  mlbelize | Jan 27, 2014 |
Endearing to those who feel the pull of the Islands. This is a sad story full if history and the beauty of ohana. ( )
  Harrod | Jan 22, 2014 |
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For the people of Kalaupapa
and
For Edgar and Charlotte Wittmer
my 'ohana
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Later, when memory was all she had to sustain her, she would come to cherish it: Old Honolulu as it was then, as it would never be again.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312304358, Paperback)

This richly imagined novel, set in Hawai'i more than a century ago, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known time and place---and a deeply moving testament to the resiliency of the human spirit.

Rachel Kalama, a spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then one day a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i. Here her life is supposed to end---but instead she discovers it is only just beginning.

With a vibrant cast of vividly realized characters, Moloka'i is the true-to-life chronicle of a people who embraced life in the face of death. Such is the warmth, humor, and compassion of this novel that "few readers will remain unchanged by Rachel's story" (mostlyfiction.com).

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Seven-year-old Rachel is forcibly removed from her family's 1890s Honolulu home when she contracts leprosy and is placed in a settlement, where she loses a series of new friends before new medical discoveries enable her to reenter the world.

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