Shannon's Reviews > Moloka'i

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
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's review
Jul 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: bookclub
Read in July, 2011

This fictional novel is based on extensive research and is set in the very real location of Kalaupapa on the island of Moloka'i. It reads like an autobiography of a fascinating woman who spends most of her life as a patient at the leper colony. While you may think a story about lepers and a leper colony in the early 20th Century would be a depressing read, you would be totally wrong. Rachel lived, truly lived, a vibrant life there as many did. To quote the book, "Love, marriage, divorce, was the same here as anywhere else, wasn't it?....The pali [cliff] wasn't a headstone and Kalaupapa wasn't a grave. It was a community like any other, bound by ties deeper than most, and people here went to their deaths as people did anywhere: with great reluctance, dragging the messy jumble of their lives behind them."

I learned some about Hansen's disease and definitely had some of my beliefs about the disease challenged. Definitely a good read and one that actually is pretty easy and enjoyable. So definitely recommended and would recommend to people in a bookclub who need a change of pace.

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