Karen's Reviews > Moloka'i

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
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Jun 10, 11

bookshelves: my-5-star-reads
Recommended to Karen by: Minooka Bookies
Recommended for: everyone
Read from April 26 to June 09, 2011, read count: 1

All I can say is that this book broke my heart. Over and over again.

It reminded me of my response to the book The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, as it shed light on a time and place in history in which I was very ignorant. In the course of reading The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, I learned something about the Internment of Japanese Americans (in Seattle area) during WWII.

In the case of Moloka'i, I learned much about the leper colony on this small island of Hawaii in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Moloka'i, by contrast was a much more intimate and raw account of these events, in my opinion. It was also very detailed and many of the political figures and certainly the locations were factual. I am sure Rachel's story is not unique and not entirely fictitious, which is just a haunting and heart-wrenching thought.

It did have a nice ending. But the 380+ pages in between were nothing less than tragic and emotionally exhausting. If you are interested in stories of perseverance, discrimination, real human survival, and family ties, you will so appreciate this book! I highly recommend it. (But keep a box of tissue at the ready!) This is also a great read for men as well as women.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Cheryl I was moved by it, but I didn't find it "emotionally exhausting." To those community members reading this good review and considering reading the book, please don't be concerned that the book will be too much for you. It's not a light read, but there is enough joy, and even humor, to leaven it and give us hope for humanity. And it's just beautiful.


Karen Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "I was moved by it, but I didn't find it "emotionally exhausting." To those community members reading this good review and considering reading the book, please don't be concerned that the book will..."

Thanks Cheryl, I appreciate that. The beginning was very difficult for me, as I have a son Rachel's age when she was first sent to the colony. That haunted me, as did the mother's courses of action from that point forward. It literally kept me up that first night. But I'm sure you're right, other readers will certainly have different reactions. (Had I read it before I had my own kids, I doubt it would've had the same degree of impact on me.)

Part of the fun of sharing a good book--for me--is listening to others' points of view and perspectives, which is why I'm here on Goodreads and in this wonderful group.

Thanks for your comments, Cheryl! Karen


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