Book Review – Moloka’i

I bought Moloka’i while at the beach last summer, at the book store two blocks from the house my family rents (how convenient!). I remember looking at the book several times before actually purchasing it with Alan Brennert’s second book, Honolulu. I have this terrible problem which often inhibits me from making a firm decision, especially when it comes to books. As a result, I generally end up buying three when I only meant to buy one. And then I wonder two days after pay day why I only have half a paycheck left…

Anyway!

Molokai is a novel that takes place at the turn of the century (20th century) in Hawaii. Rachel is a seven-year-old girl who loves her family, especially her father, a sailor. One day, a sore is discovered which won’t heal, and Rachel is sent to the island of Moloka’i, to a leprosy settlement to live in quarantine. At the age of seven. Rachel’s life on Moloka’i gets off to a rough start, but as she spends more time on the island, she begins to make friends and to grow into a happy young woman. The story of her life on Moloka’i, and the lives of those she befriends, is truly one that stays with you even after you finish the book. I think one thing that stood out to me the most was Rachel’s relationship with her father, and his obvious love and devotion to her. Maybe it’s something that any Daddy’s Girl would appreciate. This was a book that I at first took a little while to get into, but once I got past the first chapter or two, I felt like it was a very fast read; I read the majority of it in one day (I was sick, but so what?)! The events are very realistic and it is evident how much research the author put into this book. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a summer read that’s not too heavy, but not “fluff” either.

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