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In her second novel, Kathleen Tyau takes us from the shoeshine stands and dance halts of Honolulu's Chinatown to the rough, remote Maul coast in this saga of two Chinese Hawaiian women and their intertwined tires. Alice Lum narrates this story of her troubling but devoted friendship with her beautiful and bold best friend, Annabel Lee, whose Hawaiian great-grandmother perf ...more
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published July 31st 1999 by Farrar Straus Giroux
(first published June 1999)
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I got this book for Christmas (maybe it was 2003, maybe it was my birthday, but anyway) and also The Strokes Is This It. In my mind the two are irrevocably linked. But besides that, this book is amazing- the main character is ordinary, but the tragedies of her life are given weight, so that it feels more like an epic than anything else.
A story about Hawaii set in the not so long ago past. I am very familiar with Hawaii so I can vouch for the authenticity of the descriptions. The author, Tyau, does a great job setting up the story of Alice Lum, the Chinese-Hawaiian woman, whose friendship with a bold and beautiful woman is full of drama and tragedy. Someone should make this book into a film. It has the ingredients for an intriguing movie. The style of writing is a bit stream of consciousness so it takes some getting used to, bu ...more
I loved knowing all the places the characters inhabited in this book. It takes place on both Maui and Oahu, the only two islands I have visited, both with fond memories. I also liked the story of two girlfriends who had ups and downs in their friendship, but always a deep connection. The male characters were varied and sometimes mysterious, which made them more interesting. The storyline moved erratically across time, but was very clear. I would definitely read more by this author.
Jul 22, 2010 Leilani rated it really liked it · review of another edition
I just randomly picked up this book because of the title (makai means to go towards the water if you are giving someone directions in Hawaiian). It was non-linear and the descriptions of Maui and Oahu were very vivid and beautiful, I can totally picture all of the places the book mentions that I have been to. The protagonist depressed me though, and it actually made me sad the whole time I read it!
I had to read this book carefully. It's exceptionally well-written as the author wanders from the past, to the present, her dreams and life. She shares history from the 1940's and forward, while living in Hawaii. Her writing captures the voices of the various cultures of the Islands. Mahalo